Trump Starts a Trade War, but the Path to Success Remains Unclear特朗普能带美国打赢贸易战吗？特朗普能带美国打赢贸易战吗？ 时间:2018-07-11 单词数:5470
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WASHINGTON — The United States and China hit each other with punishing tariffs on Friday as the two nations tipped into a long-feared trade war that is only expected to escalate.
President Trump has said that trade wars are “easy to win.” Now, as he opens a global skirmish with allies and adversaries alike, the question is whether he has a plan to achieve the results he wants or whether he is heading into a costly and futile clash without resolution.
The president appears to be betting that threatening trading partners like China, the European Union, Mexico and Canada with tariffs will eventually force them to bend to the United States.
His strategy is being buoyed by a strong economy that is giving Mr. Trump more latitude to impose tariffs that might otherwise pose too much risk. Job growth was strong in June, according to a new government report, as employers added 213,000 net new jobs and the unemployment rate rose as more people entered the labor market and began looking for work. Manufacturing job growth was particularly robust.
Those numbers are backward-looking, but there is little reason to think that the initial batch of tariffs will knock the entire economy off course. The $34 billion worth of Chinese goods subject to tariffs, and an equivalent retaliation by China, is tiny compared to the $20 trillion United States economy. Global stock markets largely shrugged off the trade war on Friday.
But the tariffs are still inflicting pain on some industries in particular, including farmers and small manufacturers who have long supported Mr. Trump. And with little sign of a negotiated resolution between the United States and China — or any other trading partner — the conflict threatens to escalate, eventually affecting hundreds of billions of dollars of additional products.
“Trump’s soundest argument in his election campaign was that he would not waste American lives and treasure in pointless wars of choice,” Adam Posen, the president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, wrote in March in an op-ed article. “His launching a trade war would prove, however, to be his economic Afghanistan — costly, open-ended, and fruitless.”
“特朗普在竞选时最有力的论点是，他不会在毫无意义的、可打可不打的战争中浪费美国人的生命和财富，”彼得森国际经济研究所(Peterson Institute for International Economics)所长亚当.波森(Adam Posen)曾在今年3月的一篇专栏文章中这样写道。“然而，他正在发动的这场贸易战将被证明是他的阿富汗——代价高昂、无限期，而且毫无成果。”
Some of the products involved in earlier phases of the Trump administration’s trade battles offer evidence of how American consumers may eventually be affected.
In January, the president announced new tariffs on imported washing machines. Since then, the price of laundry equipment is up 10 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1月，总统宣布对进口洗衣机征收新关税。根据美国劳工统计局(Bureau of Labor Statistics)的数据，从那时起，洗衣设备的价格上涨了10%。
And the administration has either entered or threatened to enter trade wars on multiple fronts at the same time, compounding the risks. A tariff on automobile imports that is in the works, for example, could expand the dollar value of goods the United States places tariffs on by tenfold and set off a new wave of retaliation that endangers companies that export to Europe, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere.
Leaders of the Federal Reserve appear concerned that this overlay of risk in the economy could dampen investment spending, according to minutes of a June policy meeting released Thursday. Fed officials “noted that uncertainty and risks associated with trade policy had intensified and were concerned that such uncertainty and risks eventually could have negative effects on business sentiment and investment spending.”
The economy appears strong enough to withstand the relatively moderate tariffs that have already been put in place. The question is what will happen if things continue to escalate to eventually encompass hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars worth of goods.
“If we get up to a trillion dollars in the cross hairs, then that means we’re talking about 25 percent of trade in goods,” Mr. Ikenson said. “People will begin to notice that.”
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