Washington Post: “China will impose tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods if the United States presses ahead with its latest trade threats, Beijing warned Friday. The move was cast as a response to an Aug. 2 plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.”
New York Times: “The trade war between the United States and China showed no signs of yielding on Thursday, as Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, told lawmakers there was no clear path to resolution and Beijing blasted the administration over its approach. Mr. Mnuchin, who has tried to avoid calling the trade tensions with China a ‘war,’ said talks with Beijing had ‘broken down’ and suggested it was now up to China to come to the table with concessions.”
“The Chinese, meanwhile, accused the United States of ‘acting erratically’ and said the administration had ‘blatantly abandoned the consensuses that two sides have reached and insisted on fighting a trade war with China.’”
“A trade war between the world’s two largest economies officially began on Friday morning as the Trump administration followed through with its threat to impose tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, a significant escalation of a fight that could hurt companies and consumers in both the United States and China,” the New York Times reports.
“The penalties, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m., prompted quick retaliation by Beijing. China said it immediately put its own similarly sized tariffs on an unspecified clutch of American goods. Previously, the Chinese government had said it would tax pork, soybeans and automobiles, among other goods.”
Wall Street Journal: “President Xi Jinping has instructed various levels of government to get ready for a full-bore trade war.”
Washington Post: “President Trump’s first tariffs are scheduled to hit $34 billion of Chinese imports on Friday, and Beijing plans to swiftly respond with levies on an equal amount of goods. Border officers here could receive the order as early as midnight to slap new taxes on hundreds of American products, including pork, poultry, soybeans and corn.”
“And so would begin an unprecedented commerce battle between the world’s two largest economies — a conflict analysts fear could rattle markets, cripple trade and undermine ties between the United States and China at a time when the administration seeks Beijing’s cooperation on North Korea.”
“As the global business community watches the clock, China is moving to pin the fallout on Trump, framing the United States as a bully the Asian nation is forced to confront.”
“President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on almost every Chinese product that comes into the United States intensified the possibility of a damaging trade war, sending stock markets tumbling on Tuesday and drawing a rebuke from retailers, tech companies and manufacturers,” the New York Times reports.
“The Trump administration remained unmoved by those concerns, with a top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, insisting that China has more to lose from a trade fight than the United States. He also declared that Mr. Trump would not allow Beijing to simply buy its way out of an economic dispute by promising to import more American goods.”
“North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, arrived in China on Tuesday to begin a two-day visit, his third such trip since March,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Kim’s trip comes one week after his landmark summit meeting in Singapore with President Trump.”
“Mr. Kim’s visit comes as a trade war between the United States and China is intensifying, giving him an opening to play one power against the other — a tactic he appears to be using as the United States presses him to destroy his nuclear arsenal.”
President Trump “has approved a plan to impose punishing tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as early as Friday, a move that could put his trade policies on a collision course with his push to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons,” the AP reports.
“Trump met Thursday with several Cabinet members and trade advisers and was expected to impose tariffs on at least $35 billion to $40 billion of Chinese imports… The amount of goods could reach $55 billion.”
New York Times: “Beijing has said it will retaliate by imposing its own tariffs on a list of roughly $50 billion in American exports, a list likely to include agricultural products and manufactured goods.”
“Chinese government hackers have compromised the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare — including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020,” the Washington Post reports.
“The breaches occurred in January and February.”
NBC News reports that China may try to spy on President Trump’s talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next week in Singapore.
“U.S. officials are concerned China has recruited informants among the waiters and other staff in Singapore’s restaurants and bars, who are paid to eavesdrop on American customers and report back to their Chinese handlers.”
“Officials also expect electronic surveillance of the summit meeting sites. Americans will sweep for bugs in rooms at the Capella Hotel that could be used for side discussions, and could erect tents inside hotel meeting rooms to block any concealed cameras from viewing classified documents.”
President Trump “said he had allowed embattled Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. to remain open despite fierce bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill, defying lawmakers who have warned that the huge technology company should be severely punished for breaking U.S. law,” the Washington Post reports.
“Sensing such a move, top Democrats and at least one Republican on Friday said the White House’s decision was tantamount to a bailout of a large Chinese company with little benefit for the United States.”
New York Times: “Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant win: a willingness by the Trump administration to hold off for now on imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports. China gave up little in return, spurning the administration’s nudges for a concrete commitment to buy more goods from the United States, and avoiding limits on its efforts to build new high-tech Chinese industries.”
“The trade fight is far from over. And large Chinese technology companies in particular could be vulnerable if the United States starts punching again, with administration officials appearing to back away from Mr. Trump’s pledges to help ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company hit with severe American penalties.”
“Still, the latest round of negotiations showed that a confident China could be more than a match for divided American officials who have made often discordant demands.”
Associated Press: “President Trump said Sunday he has instructed his Commerce Department to help get a Chinese telecommunications company ‘back into business’ after the U.S. government cut off access to its American suppliers. At issue is that department’s move last month to block the ZTE Corp., a major supplier of telecoms networks and smartphones based in southern China, from importing American components for seven years. The U.S. accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran.”
“President Trump took the first steps toward imposing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods and limiting China’s ability to invest in the U.S. technology industry, saying the moves were a response to Beijing’s history of forcing U.S. companies to surrender their trade secrets to do business in China,” the Washington Post reports.
When President Trump and his team visited Beijing last November, Chief of Staff John Kelly and a U.S. Secret Service agent skirmished with Chinese security officials over the nuclear football, according to Jonathan Swan.
“When the U.S. military aide carrying the nuclear football entered the Great Hall, Chinese security officials blocked his entry… Then a U.S. Secret Service agent grabbed the Chinese security official and tackled him to the ground.”
“The whole scuffle was over in a flash, and the U.S. officials told about the incident were asked to keep quiet about it. Trump’s team followed the normal security procedure to brief the Chinese before their visit to Beijing… but somebody at the Chinese end either didn’t get the memo or decided to mess with the Americans anyway.”
“I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.”
— President Trump, quoted by Axios, at an event with Chinese officials.
Joshua Green: “Bannon, who’s been consulting with Henry Kissinger and other foreign policy veterans, is preparing a project to sound an alarm about what he views as the primary economic threat to America: China.”
Said Bannon: “If we don’t get our situation sorted with China, we’ll be destroyed economically. The forced technology transfer of American innovation to China is the single biggest economic and business issue of our time. Until we sort that out, they will continue to appropriate our innovation to their own system and leave us as a colony—our Jamestown to their Great Britain, a tributary state.”