New US penal tariffs against China

Donald Trump has threatened China with penal tariffs to the tune of 300 billion dollars on goods that have not been affected by the US sanctions so far. The new tariffs would take effect on 1 September and could affect mobile phones, laptops and toys. China has threatened countermeasures. Commentators note that these sanctions are losing their shock impact in this era of trade wars.

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Handelsblatt (DE) /

Trump's strategy has lost its shock effect

The US president's strategy won't pay off, Handelsblatt believes:

“Trump can blow his own horn as much as he likes to his supporters, but there can be no talk of his having a successful track record. ... Now at the very latest we can see the limits to his strategy of applying maximum pressure. Even after the most recent punitive tariffs were announced China made it clear that it would stick to its key demands. So Trump's tactic is only workable to a certain extent. Ever higher barriers won't allow true progress to be made. They've lost their shock effect, and the rest of the world is bracing itself for the challenge.”

Dnevnik (SI) /

This conflict is here to stay

There is no sign of an end to the trade dispute, Dnevnik surmises:

“Although in recent months China has shown itself willing to sign an agreement - with its fingers crossed behind its back regarding intellectual property - after the US toughened the sanctions several times the country is now increasingly preparing for a lengthy conflict. Here the rules are completely different to those that applied between the US and the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War. In a world of interconnected and interdependent supply chains ideological differences barely play a role. The battle for economic supremacy is all about the colour of money.”

Ria Novosti (RU) /

Good news for Russia

Ria Novosti describes how Russia could capitalise on the trade conflict:

“Even if, God forbid, the conflict were to spread from business to other areas, military policy decisions will have to be taken. For now, however, we should first and foremost be worried about how this conflict could negatively affect the global economy (or in other words: falling oil prices). But that said, niches will also open up: if China stops buying LNG in the US (which it already has), what stops us from supplying liquid petroleum gas from the Yamal Peninsula or the Sea of Okhotsk as a substitute? In any event we have plenty to offer our Chinese comrades and partners. But the bottom line is: this is really not our war.”