China ‘Caught Between Two Worlds’ in Responding to Trump’s Proposed Tariffs

Kevin Rudd on Bloomberg

On March 2, 2018, ASPI President Kevin Rudd spoke with MSNBC about how China may respond to President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

Rudd states that “China has a range of mechanisms available to it by way of retaliation,” from imposing tariffs on American exports, to investigating regulatory complaints lodged against American firms in China more thoroughly. Given “the overall strategic importance of the U.S. relationship,” however, Rudd observes that China is divided on “whether to take the U.S. on front and center…” or whether to “simply allow this one to pass.”

Either way, as Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidates his power, and the U.S. makes moves which are “effectively, growing declarations of trade war,” Rudd believes that U.S.-China ties are “starting to career out of control.”

Pointing out that China is not the only country that exports steel to the United States, Rudd believes the tariffs will strain more than just U.S.-China relations. According to Rudd, “American allies are going to fall within the collateral damage which flows from this particular measure.” (9 min., 44 sec.)

Watch the interview on Bloomberg.