US-China Trade War: The Guns of August (PIIE)

August, which is supposed to be a somnolent month, has erupted in 2019 in a blaze of threats and tariff escalations. At times, President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has seemed like it was spinning out of control. A pivotal moment occurred August 23 when China announced details of its long-anticipated retaliation to Trump’s newest tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports. Trump’s immediate response was for yet another round of his own tariffs and a bizarre directive to US companies to pull out of China.

Chad P. Bown (PIIE)

A Drop in Tourism Is Threatening Hong Kong’s Economy (PIIE)

Racked by antigovernment protests since June 2019, Hong Kong is on the brink of recession. Its economy contracted by 0.4 percent in real terms in the second quarter of 2019 over the preceding quarter. If this trend has continued in the third quarter, Hong Kong might have already fallen into a technical recession,[1] as the territory’s financial secretary has warned. A leading cause of its economic troubles is the well-publicized plunge in the tourism industry

Tianlei Huang (PIIE)

An EU “Green New Deal” Requires a Far Higher Price on Carbon (PIIE)

Taxing carbon is probably the most effective way of curbing greenhouse gases that cause climate change. But because taxing carbon emissions will raise gasoline and other energy costs for households and industry, it may be the most politically treacherous step any government can take. Undaunted, Europe should forge ahead with an ambitious plan to make the cost of using fossil fuels effectively exorbitant. The economic impact on Europe would be enormous. But Europe’s actions could also have a significant impact on the United States.

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard (PIIE)

Trade Talks Episode 101: Huawei, National Security, and the Trade War (PIIE)

Yuan Yang (Financial Times) joins to explain the allegations and complications surrounding Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei. They discuss alleged risks to national security, IP theft, unfair trade, sanctions violations, export controls, the entity list, and more.

Featuring Soumaya Keynes (The Economist) and Chad P. Bown (PIIE)

Are Foreign Companies Really Leaving China in Droves? (PIIE)

President Donald Trump, in defending his trade war with China, has yet again let his Twitter fingers get ahead of reality. He tweeted in late August that “China wants to make a deal so badly. Thousands of companies are leaving because of the Tariffs. They must stem the flow.” This supposed exodus of foreign firms is another element informing his view that China is under increasing economic pressure and thus anxious to accept US terms for a trade agreement. As is the case with Trump’s claim that the US tariffs are slowing China’s economy and increasing its unemployment, the facts fail to support his view.

Nicholas R. Lardy (PIIE)

Elizabeth Warren’s Approach to Trade Is Inclusive, Green, and Ineffective (PIIE)

If Senator Elizabeth Warren’s policies on trade have a familiar ring, it may be because they echo the unlikely alliance of economic nationalist, labor, and environmental interests championed by previous presidential candidates Patrick Buchanan, Ross Perot, and Ralph Nader, vintage 1993, in opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A majority of Democrats in Congress also voted against NAFTA.

Jeffrey J. Schott (PIIE)