Consequences of the U.S. China Trade War Felt Throughout the World – Elizabeth Elliott

Since the beginning of his presidency in 2016, Trump has repeatedly accused China of unfair trading practices, leading to the onset of the trade war between the U.S. and China in 2018. Trump had intentions of promoting the selling and purchasing of American made goods, but the trade war has led to the loss of 300,00 American jobs and Americans paying an extra $46 billion in tariffs, which costs the average household an additional $831 annually. Despite these consequences felt within the U.S., China has also suffered significantly. The American economy is stable enough that it has been able to stay strong through these net losses, while the growth of China’s economy has slowed to its lowest level of growth in nearly three decades.

In January, the two governments reached a temporary trade pact to prevent more tariff increases. Earlier this month, China announced that it would reduce its tariffs on $75 billion of American-made goods as it continues to face significant losses and is now battling the coronavirus. This trade war between the U.S., the world’s largest importer, and China, the world’s largest importer, slowed the growth of the global economy by 3 percent in 2019. Countries throughout the world have suffered because of this trade war. European countries are largely dependent on exports, but countries have not been importing their goods in this state of global economic turmoil. A major trade group in Germany, for  example, adjusted their growth forecast for German exports in 2019 to 0.5% from 1.5% the year before. Outside of Europe, countries with emerging markets have been forced to disengage from the global economy because they can not risk major losses. Many nations in Africa are beginning to trade mostly among themselves because that is a less vulnerable practice in a global economy that is so uncertain.

While this trade war has received global focus, its impact on smaller economies around the world as well as low income families in both the U.S. and China aren’t making major headlines. It’s easy for the news to discuss this trade war by talking about the numbers and losses across industries, but the attention should be on everyday people throughout the world who feel the consequences more than anyone. A trade war between the two biggest economies affects people in every corner of the world and it is unjust of news coverage on the topic to not give adequate attention to the everyday effects of this pointed political agenda. 


Works Cited


Lobosco, Katie, “Breaking down the costs of Trump’s trade war with China,” CNN, 14 January 


Shalal, Andrea, “Fallout from Trump’s trade wars felt by economies around the world,” Reuters, 

19 October 2019,

Tejada, Carlos, “China Cuts Tariffs on $75 Billion in U.S. Goods. That Was the Easy Part.,” The 

New York Times, 6 Feburary 2020, 


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