Thanos Trump Threatens China ahead of Trade Talks

Kevin Doremus | @k_doremus

According to the Washington Post, Chinese internet users now refer to President Trump as Marvel villain Thanos.  President Trump has been negotiating a new trade deal that would attempt to reduce the US’s trade deficit with China. Similar to Thanos snapping his fingers, Trump threatened to increase tariffs to 25% on Chinese goods causing a sharp decline in the Chinese stock market on Monday.

Here are some of the tweets:

Trump’s Trade Relationships with China

However, despite Trump’s tweet, the Chinese are still planning to send a delegation to the US on May 8 to continue trade negotiations.  According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang, “China hopes the trade talks can achieve positive progress, and that the two countries meet each other half way to get the benefits of the two countries and the expectation of the international community… We hope China and the US achieve a mutually beneficial agreement based on mutual respect.”

Before Trump’s tweet, analysts assumed that the trade talks were nearing a conclusion.  “There is still a question of whether this is one of the famous Trump negotiation tactics, or are we really going to see some drastic increase in tariffs,” Nick Twidale of Rakuten Securities Australia said to Reuters. Critics of Trump’s policy on imports argue that tariffs are just taxes on the American. They also say this would negatively impact the US economy.

The US and China have been in a trade dispute since President Trump took office in 2017.  After many years of cooperation and trade, China has become a significant trading partner to the US.  However, as China’s rises in power, there are fears that China may be a threat to the US economically and militarily.  Analysts now expect the president to continue with tough rhetoric against China, as well as his America first rhetoric, into the 2020 US presidential election. Trump can defend this action as “putting America first”, as well as protecting American jobs.

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