US vs China Trade War: Winning is not Everything

Have you seen those cheap “Made in China” toys? You probably have. This is because over 80% of toys are made there, including the Rubik’s Cube and Barbie Dolls. But you are going to miss them for a while, because we are currently in a deep situation with the nation. The only problem is, however, that toys are not the only thing we’ll miss. For example, this Chromebook that I am using to type this article is also ‘Made in China’, and therefore may not be available at the earliest, next year. Trade war means that all sorts of trade, including food, ceramics, and even electronics will be cut off between countries because of some foolish ‘political’ reasons. And right now, the two economically impacting trade countries, the US and China, are having one of the biggest trade wars in history. So today, we will get into what is happening  between The Land of Liberty and The Central Beauty. 

First of all, what exactly is the US and China fighting over? According to BBC.com, Trump aimed to “encourage consumers to buy American products by making imported goods more expensive,”. As if that wasn’t enough, the US also imposed special tariffs (worth $200 Billion!) especially on Chinese steel and aluminum, making Chinese governors, especially Xi Jinping very, very mad. China decided to counter by putting tariffs on 128 American goods (worth $60 Billion). This went on like a card game, and now the total tariffed goods are worth over 300 Billion US Dollars. And this does not just include Chinese goods. According to Newsela.com, “U.S. relied on China for about 80 percent of its rare-earth imports between 2014 and 2017,”. These rare earth metals make up your computers, flat-screen TV, and even smartphones. We are currently in danger of losing it all. Although causing no sacrifice, many US and Chinese citizens are troubled by this baby-like trade fights.   

However, There is one serious downside to this kind of war: you never gain by winning. Originally, the US had put tariffs on China’s goods, and the main reason was that they wanted US citizens to buy more “Made in America” products. Then, China decided to put tariffs on US goods because they wanted to stop them from putting tariffs. But if you think about who exactly is winning, there is really no purpose of this war, except maybe the feeling of winning. For example, if the US wins, they will not get any more imports from China; they’re infuriated. President Trump may have wanted this, but for US citizens, this just makes their lives worse. If China wins, on the other hand, the situation will just get back to “normal”. And since this is after all that money wasted on putting tariffs, It will turn out to be a waste of money. What if they both have the same results? Well, if they both lose, they will build an imaginary wall against each other and downgrade the world economy, and if they both reach an agreement, the sum will be getting all back to “normal”, with again, no purpose of starting the war. So now, our biggest hope is for the war to end in any, fastest way.

So, What’s the current result? Well, according to The Natural Interest, Some experts argue that  “China has the upper hand because it is slowly weaning off American computer products and will eventually achieve its own technology independence,”. On the other hand, according to Market Realist, the US trade deficit fell to $43.1 billion, while China’s was $353 billion (2019), about 8 times the amount in the US. Moreover, “Last month, the US, Canada, and Mexico signed the USMCA (United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement), which will replace NAFTA. The agreement was signed in 2018, but it was renegotiated to accommodate some changes sought by US Democrats.” Could our country be winning? Or is it the opposite? At this point, what we can conclude is that both sides are losing something, or if so, everything. 

Hopefully, you now understand the importance and the seriousness of this economically historical event, and how we should not argue, but rather be compromising to reduce further risks of our (and their) country. Some say the war has ended, since a truce has finally been reached between the two sides. However, this is still phase one to the far-away goal of a peace agreement (according to Japan Times). Many more agreements and truces will be necessary to end this devastating event. So when exactly will this war end, and what will be the damage at that point in the future? It might be up to you to figure it out. This was Taichi Sawamura, Patriot Power 7B.