China Says Trump’s “Flip Flops” on Trade Hurt U.S. Credibility

On Tuesday President Donald Trump said that he would go ahead with his plan to impose $50 billion in tariffs on imports from China, and also implement new rules concerning limits on the investment by Chinese companies in U.S. high-technology industries.  The plan was rolled out by the president as part of his sweeping efforts to crack down on Chinese acquisition of U.S. technology which many people have considered illegal as well as threatening to U.S. security.

On Wednesday, China struck back at Trump and his plan to move forward with tariffs on Chinese imports saying it damages America’s credibility and standing in the world of international commerce.  Before Trump’s Tuesday announcement it was widely believed that there was a current truce in the trade war with China. 

In Beijing on Wednesday Hua Chunying, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, told reporters that China “will respond accordingly” if the U.S. insists on unilateral measures to harm Chinese trade. “We urge the United States to keep its promise, and meet China halfway in the spirit of the joint statement,” Hua added.

The White House statement on Tuesday reported that a final list of imported goods to be hit with tariffs would be released before June 15. It also said the actual tariffs would be imposed on the designated Chinese goods “shortly thereafter.”

“Every flip-flop in international relations simply depletes a country’s credibility,” Hua said during her press conference. This clearly was a shot at the trade negotiation approach of the mercurial U.S. president.

The announcement by Trump is the latest twist in a trade dispute between the U.S. and China that could threaten the global economy.

The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that the previously scheduled trade talks between the U.S. and China in Beijing might possibly be pushed off course by the new threats about tariffs coming from the White House.

A group of U.S. trade representatives is scheduled to arrive in China today to discuss the next round of trade negotiations, and what topics will be covered. However, if no agreement is reached by the parties, then the meetings may never happen, the Wall Street Journal report said.

Trump once again thinks he is being a tough negotiator in dealing with the Chinese, but their response indicates they are not buying it.  Just like with Iran and North Korea, Trump’s unpredictable and changing foreign policies leave other countries puzzled and feeling very uncertain about what to do.  Trump thinks he is in charge of this complicated process but in fact he is threatening global economic stability, as well as U.S. prosperity.