Trade war between US and China

Last week the US imposed billions of dollars in punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and China retaliated with similar measures. No one will emerge victorious from this war, commentators predict, and call for an overhaul of the entire global trade system.

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Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Everyone involved will suffer

The US tariffs on imports from China totalling 34 billion dollars and Beijing's immediate retaliation involving a similar sum will lead us straight into a trade war, writes Corriere del Ticino:

“Inevitably the EU and other economic areas are moving towards retaliatory measures against Washington's tariffs. ... Trump's protectionism has triggered a conflict from which - as with all trade wars - no one will emerge victorious. Whether the US president is pursuing a long-term strategy or a tactic aimed at short-term gains no longer matters. Because ultimately everyone suffers. Hopefully not in an endless conflict. But no one knows today how long this conflict will last. Probably not even Trump himself.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Sometimes war is necessary

Die Welt shows understanding for Trump's tariff policy against China:

“China is still not strong enough to force the rest of the world to put up with its ruthless behaviour - but that day will not be long in coming. Consequently, if you want to teach Beijing to become a more or less fair trading partner, there's no time like the present. Trade wars harm everyone concerned, as the experts never stop warning us. That's true. And it holds for all wars. Sometimes, however, they are necessary. Appeasement also exists in the business world - with the same consequences as in politics. Appeasement from a position of strength can be magnanimous and noble. Appeasement from a position of weakness is meekness. Trump has understood this and is acting accordingly in his own unique way.”

Expressen (SE) /

Global trade system needs to be reformed

The trade war must be seen as an opportunity to tackle fundamental global problems, Expressen urges:

“The United States isn't the only country concerned about China's technological swindle, unhealthy loans to state enterprises and harassment of foreign investors. Agricultural protectionism hampers both developing countries and farmers in industrial countries. The EU uses anti-dumping regulations and in so doing violates the interests of its own consumers - for the sake of propping up inefficient producers backed by a strong lobby. In the best scenario this conflict could lead to a revision of the global trade system. ... Trump has forced his colleagues to work out a better trade policy. Solutions are better than sanctions!”