By Mike Wuerthele
Monday, November 14, 2016, 05:59 am PT (08:59 am ET)
China has threatened that a trade war against the country will result in more harm to the U.S., with a state-run paper threatening that the government will take “countermeasures” against Apple’s iPhone and the automotive industry if an economic conflict comes to pass.
“China will take a tit-for-tat approach then,” the editorial by the Global Times declares. “A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US.”
The publication also points out that a U.S. president can only increase tariffs on all imported products from any country for 15 percent over 150 days. Higher tariffs must specify which goods in detail, such as President Obama’s 35 percent tariff on Chinese tires in 2009.
“If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired,” said the editorial. “Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences.”
According to other Chinese media, President-Elect Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, with the two men promising to meet “at an early date.”
Gearing up for a battle with China, and U.S. businesses
In January, Trump promised that he would force Apple to manufacture its hardware in the US instead of utilizing to overseas labor, and proposed a 35 percent tax on businesses making goods overseas, rather than by U.S factories.
Points 5 through 7 of Trump’s “7 point plan to rebuild the American economy by fighting for free trade” could be considered hostile to China’s interests.
In the plan, Trump declares that in the first 100 days of office, the treasury secretary will be directed to label China a currency manipulator, and the trade representative to China will bring trade cases against China specifically addressing unfair subsidy behavior.
Point 7 of the plan promises to bring to bear “every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities.”