China Can Hit the US In These Areas, If Trump Continues His Tough Trade Talk

By Victoria Stark - 15 Dec '16 08:49AM
  • U.S. Secretary of State Visits China
  • (Photo : Kim Kyung-Hoon - Pool/Getty Images) BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 16: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as he meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (C) at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound on May 16, 2015 in Beijing, China. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging China to halt increasingly assertive actions it is taking in the South China Sea.

US President-elect Donald Trump's so-called 'tough trade talk' on China's economic relations with his country has sparked a huge amount of concern among the business sector. The Chinese government itself has expressed disquiet over his disregard of the 'One-China policy' usually honored by his predecessors. Trump has said he sees no reason not to treat Taiwan as a separate nation.

During his campaign, Trump has vowed to hold China into account for what he believes is its role in the U.S.-China trade deficit. But whether or not this is sabre-rattling, American companies do have immense business interests in the Asian superpower that they are bound to protect. Reuters lists a very significant few: $1 billion dollars worth of exports transported to China annually, and another $500 billion worth of 'commercial engagements' in a wide range of industries, from retail, computer chips, to cars. These enteprises include Wal-Mart's 432 stores and Starbucks' 2,500 coffee shops.

The Chinese government may be showing restraint against Trump's tirades, but one insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity, informed Reuters that China has already come up with a list of areas where it can retaliate should the U.S. president-elect not back down. American conglomerates with business interests can are in these areas of interest, and will feel the pinch should China clamp down.

Forbes says that economic retaliation can come in two ways. China can simply stop giving contracts for manufacturing to firms like Boeing and hand them over to an international competitor. It can also tap state-run media to run a campaign that will encourage the millions of Chinese consumers to stop patronizing American products.

And if that is not enough, China can fire a bow into US influence in Asia by deploying military exercises close to Beijing. Invasion may not be immiment, but sending troops and firepower near their island can scare the Taipei government, enough to ask Trump to soften his position.

Only a few months ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping was exchanging poetry and metaphors with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in high-level talks in Beijing. With a new President in Washington, the language has become more direct and confrontational, leaving American businesses to fret silently over the outcome.

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