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Trade showdown

Trump’s tariff threat puts China’s leader in a bind

Scott Tong May 6, 2019
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BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 9: U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People on November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. Trump is on a 10-day trip to Asia.
Thomas Peter - Pool/Getty Images

In Beijing, President Donald Trump’s new threat to hike tariffs on Chinese goods has not gone over well. Stocks fell 5% in one Chinese stock exchange, 7.4% in another, and the currency tumbled. Politically, this puts Chinese leaders in a tough position. They want to end this trade war, but as we know, all politics — even in China — is local. And President Xi Jinping cannot afford to look weak before a domestic audience.

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