Is Trump in a Trade War with China? An Up-to-Date Guide

Chad P. Bown (PIIE) and Melina Kolb (PIIE)

April 19, 2018 1:15 PM
Photo Credit: 
PIIE/Daniel Housch

 

This post will be updated as trade disputes with China continue.

In the ongoing trade confrontation between President Donald Trump and China, multiple battles that could turn into a trade war have emerged. There is no technical definition for a “trade war,” and there are few episodes of major trade wars in modern history since the 1930s from which to draw parallels. Nevertheless, the fear is that US tariffs—as well as other trade and investment restrictions—and the resulting retaliation could escalate and reach a critical tipping point that significantly hampers trade and investment. Bilateral confrontations could also spill over to other countries and significantly damage the global economy.

The timelines below track the development of the most pressing trade conflicts with links to the latest available data and PIIE analysis.

BATTLE #1: SOLAR PANEL AND WASHING MACHINE IMPORTS INJURE US INDUSTRIES

BATTLE #2: STEEL AND ALUMINUM AS NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS

BATTLE #3: UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES FOR TECHNOLOGY, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP)