War is never a good thing. Whether it is the kind where bullets fly and lives are lost, or the kind where there is a tit-for-tat exchange of ever rising tariffs on the trade of goods and services, war does neither side any good.
The US may not be engaged in a shooting war with China, but the current trade war with the Asian powerhouse is doing sufficient damage that results in jobs lost for both sides.
It is not only the two sides that are affected. The global economy is certain to take a mega hit if the US-China trade war does not end soon.
Luckily, there is a solution to the ongoing trade war which threatened to worsen even further last week after President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on made in China goods valued at $200 billion. As a result, US-China trade talks have stalled and the rising global superpower is set to retaliate by imposing its own higher tariffs on US-made goods.
What is needed now is diplomacy, not saber rattling.
To be fair to the president, China does engage in questionable trade practices. From artificially pegging the exchange rate of their currency vis-à-vis the dollar, to a seemingly utter disregard for the intellectual property rights of American inventors and corporations, among other devious acts, China has tried to unfairly outsmart the US by playing on an uneven field.
In Mr. Trump’s mind, the sudden declaration of potentially brutal tariffs will force China to take immediate corrective measures.
Mr. Trump has stated in the past that he actually likes and respects Chinese President Xi Jinping. Since the two leaders are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina later this year, perhaps the US can suspend the latest round of tariffs and wait for the results of that meeting.
At the very least, no further tariffs should be imposed.
Between now and that time, there are no US-China negotiations scheduled. Perhaps the US can take the lead and ask for preliminary talks which would clarify all unsettled issues prior to the Trump-Xi face-to-face in November.
Diplomacy dictates that two rational sides must compromise as much as possible. Nothing should be set in stone.
It is imperative that the US and China remain on good terms in the area of trade as this all but assures that there will never be a shooting war between the two.
Recall that before then President Richard Nixon visited China and shook hands with Mao Zedung some decades ago, the US and China always seemed to be on the brink of possible nuclear war. By turning China into the country’s largest trading partner, the US actually made the world a safer place.
There is, however, no justification nor room for unfair trade practices. Now, more than ever, it is time for the US and China to sit down and talk, and hopefully settle their differences before this ongoing trade war gets any worse.