U.S. and China Raise the Stakes in Trade War

Workers load imported soybeans onto trucks at a port in Nantong in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on April 4.
AFP/Getty Images

U.S. and China Raise the Stakes in Trade War

Where are the newest sets of tariffs leading?

The United States and China have dramatically upped the stakes in what may soon break out into a trade war.

On March 23, the U.S. imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Most major economies, including the European Union, were exempted from these tariffs—but China was not. Beijing retaliated by announcing tariffs of up to 25 percent on 128 American exports. These went into effect on April 2.

The Chinese notably did not pass tariffs on anything that would heavily damage the U.S. economy. Their announcement sent the message: We are not backing down, but we are not declaring an all-out trade war either.

On April 3, the U.S. struck back with a 25 percent tariff on 1,300 Chinese goods, including televisions, aircraft parts and medical devices. Generally, these were products the Chinese aimed to gain a manufacturing dominance in, under their “Made in China 2025” plan. The tariffs are worth $50 billion a year.

The next day, China struck back, announcing tariffs on 100 American goods, including soybeans and Boeing aircraft, which are major American exports to China. These tariffs are also calculated to hurt politically, targeting industries that are concentrated in key congressional districts. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were targets. Other industries hurt by the tariffs are located in key electoral battlegrounds.

Is this an all-out trade war? Not yet. Neither of these latest tariff laws have gone into effect—and they won’t until late May, at the earliest.

As I wrote in my article in the May-June Trumpet print magazine, China has been waging economic warfare on the U.S. for decades. President Donald Trump’s goal is not trade war. He wants to persuade China to end at least some of its economic attacks against the U.S. This is why both sides have left time for more talks, before these tariffs come into force.

So it’s not all-out trade war yet. But the stakes are rising fast, and neither side is backing down.

And both sides could still escalate it further. The U.S. could impose more damaging tariffs, and China has its “nuclear option” of selling off U.S. bonds.

Because all-out economic war is no small thing, both sides may compromise for now.

There is a possibility of a truce, not a total end to the conflict. As I explained in my article, the Bible prophesies that economic warfare against the U.S. will get much worse:

Isaiah 23 forecasts a “mart of nations” (verse 3). The chapter is full of references to ships, oceans and overseas trade. It is describing a trade alliance.

The alliance includes Tyre, an ancient economic power and a type of the economic power rising in Europe. It also includes China, using its ancient name, Chittim. (Request our free booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision for biblical proof.)

Other scriptures forecast a trade war on the U.S. In Deuteronomy 28:52, God tells Israel that its enemies would “besiege thee in all thy gates”—cut its economy off from the outside world—the most extreme form of a trade war. Ezekiel 4-5 describe a siege of Jerusalem along with the other tribes of Israel. This siege, as outlined in Ezekiel 4, did not happen during his time. In fact, most of ancient Israel had already been conquered, deported and enslaved by the time Ezekiel wrote this.

Why give these prophecies? Because they are for the modern descendants of Israel, including America and Britain. (Request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecyto trace this history.)

Put these scriptures together, and it’s clear that this mart of nations uses trade to oppose Britain and America. These nations cut America off completely, besieging it and bringing it down.

We’re in the early stages of that right now. If it doesn’t get worse in the next few weeks, it’s certain to dramatically escalate later.

To learn more about this prophesied trade war, and the sure solution for the United States, read my article “Spiraling Into Trade War.”