Well, Donald Trump’s latest and “greatest” tariffs on China went into effect on Monday and Beijing isn’t pleased.
After canceling trade negotiations with Steve Mnuchin, China now says that no talks are possible until the President stops threatening people.
“China has kept the door to negotiations open, but negotiations can only happen when there is mutual respect, equality, good faith, and credibility”, Xinhua news agency said Monday, adding that “negotiations cannot be conducted under the threat of tariffs, or at the cost of China’s rights to development.”
Amusingly, The Information Office of the State Council decided today was a good day to release an actual white paper detailing China’s position on the trade dispute with Trump. You can read a summary of China’s position on several key issues from Xinhua below, but the upshot here is that if Trump truly thought ratcheting up the pressure on Beijing was going to work in terms of forcing the Chinese back to the table, that approach has backfired in dramatic fashion.
Meanwhile, China is also ignoring Trump’s demands that Beijing not target America’s farmers and other key constituencies ahead of the midterms. On Sunday, the Des Moines Register carried a four-page ad from China that detailed what Beijing is calling “the fruit of a president’s folly.” Here are some screenshots:
As Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs notes, the supplement contains sections on China “buying soybeans from South America due to the trade row and details Xi Jinping’s fun days in Iowa.” As you can see, it also suggests that Beijing can “set an example for the world.”
The four-page section comes with a disclaimer buried at the bottom that reads: “Paid for and prepared solely by China Daily, an official publication of the People’s Republic of China.”
Here are some not-so-fun facts about the impact of the trade tensions on Iowa, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
Iowa Jobs Supported by Trade: 456,300 Total State Exports Threatened by New Tariffs: $1,012,089,323
Total Exports to Canada Threatened by New Tariffs: $659,967,277
- Herbicides, Antisprout: $288,225,056
- Flat-hot-rolled Iron, non-alloy Steel, not Coil: $76,739,106
- Aluminum Alloy Rectangular Plates Etc, Over .2 mm Thick: $44,537,832
Total Exports to China Threatened by New Tariffs: $139,732,531
- Offal Of Swine Except Livers, Edible, Frozen: $32,954,777
- Soybeans: $30,784,437
- Copper Waste And Scrap: $23,778,204
Total Exports to EU Threatened by New Tariffs: $86,804,193
- Aluminum Alloy Rect Plates Etc, Over .2 mm Thick: $40,677,564
- Corn: $31,456,222
- Articles Of Iron Or Steel: $7,145,009
Total Exports to Mexico Threatened by New Tariffs: $125,585,322
- Meat Of Swine, Fresh Or Chilled: $71,085,948
- Meat, Swine, Hams, Shoulders, Bone In, Fresh Or Chilled: $23,707,902
- Meat Of Swine, Frozen: $16,724,159
It goes without saying that China’s ad in the Register will likely aggravate the U.S. President, who will undoubtedly see it is as an act of espionage. Last week, the DoJ reportedly told Xinhua and China Global Television Network to register as foreign agents.
This seems like a good time to remind you that back in 2012, Xi actually visited the Iowa farm of Rick and Martha Kimberley.
He even drove a tractor…
China’s positions on trade dispute via Xinhua
First, China is firmly committed to safeguarding its national dignity and core interests. “China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and will fight one if necessary.”
“China has kept the door to negotiations open, but negotiations can only happen when there is mutual respect, equality, good faith, and credibility. Negotiations cannot be conducted under the threat of tariffs, or at the cost of China’s rights to development.”
Second, China is firmly committed to the sound development of China-U.S. economic and trade relations.
“China would like to work with the U.S. in the same direction, act in a spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on economic and trade ties, and properly manage economic and trade differences.”
China is willing to resume negotiations with the U.S. on a bilateral investment treaty, and launch bilateral free trade agreement negotiations when appropriate.
Third, China is firmly committed to the reform and improvement of the multilateral trading system.
China is firm in observing and upholding the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and supports an open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, and necessary reform of the WTO, and firmly opposes unilateralism and protectionism.
China is working to enhance cooperation within the G20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other multilateral frameworks, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.
Fourth, China is firmly committed to protecting property rights and intellectual property rights (IPRs).
China will keep improving its laws and regulations on IPR protection, enhance the quality and efficiency of IPR reviews. China protects the lawful IPRs of foreign businesses in strict accordance with the law, and takes stern measures to address all types of IPR infringement cases.
China will enhance its cooperation with all countries to protect IPRs, and hopes that governments of other countries will also step up their efforts to protect Chinese IPRs.
Fifth, China is firmly committed to protecting the lawful rights and interests of foreign businesses in China.
“China treats all businesses registered in China equally. China will always protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign investors and foreign-invested businesses, and take firm measures to address violations of their lawful rights and interests in accordance with the law.”
Sixth, China is firmly committed to deepening reform and widening opening-up. “China will not reverse its course, but only deepen reform. China will not close its door to the world, but only open wider.”
“The market will play a decisive role in the allocation of resources and the government will play a better role to encourage competition and oppose monopoly.”
China will manage its own affairs well, develop an open economy at a higher level, and share development and prosperity with all countries that aspire to progress.
Seventh, China is firmly committed to mutually beneficial cooperation with other developed and developing countries.
China will work with the European Union (EU) to expedite the negotiations on the China-EU Investment Agreement, and will accelerate negotiations on the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Area.
“China will promote deeper cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative based on the principles of consultation, cooperation and benefit for all…and create new drivers for common development.”
Eighth, China is firmly committed to building a community with a shared future for humanity.
China will continue to act as a responsible major country, and join every other country in building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.