Nearing the end of this week, United State President Donald Trump intimated he could make another decision about imposing yet another series of tariffs on Chinese goods, following his meeting with Chinese officials at the G-20 summit in Japan, later this month.
It was not long ago, in fact, that Trump threatened to instigate another tariff series on, at the very least, another $300 billion-worth of goods coming from the country. At the same time, he has also said he though both China and Mexico were focused on making deals to end their trade disputes with the United States.
Tensions between the two largest economies in the world, of course, have been significantly on the rise since these negotiations, in May, quickly escalated to what has become a piddling trade war. And despite what appears to be quite the stalemate, Trump continues to insist that both China and Mexico are ready to negotiate (but, simply, are not doing so).
Of course, Beijing’s response to the new US tariffs did not appear to be in line with a willingness to negotiate. Beijing’s response, you may recall, was to issue tariffs on $60 billion in US goods, in addition to hardening their negotiations against the United States. And, it now seems, Donald Trump could continue this tantrum with further tariffs on upwards of $500 billion worth of Chinese goods.
But this is just the beginning. Market sentiment has been faltering since May, thanks to the trade tensions brought about by the tariffs. As such, Trump has positioned a new attack on Mexico, threatening a 5 percent tariff on all imports from south of the American border if Mexico does not make better efforts to control migrant flow to the US.
At the end of the day, the International Monetary Fund warns that these US-China tariffs—and the trade war, as a whole—could significantly reduce global economic output, by as much as 0.5 percent in 2020, alone. Furthermore, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warned, in a briefing note, that taxing all trade between the two biggest global economies could result in a loss of $455 billion in gross domestic product. That is, essentially, more than all South Africa’s economy.