‘Bring Me Tariffs’—How Trump and Xi Drove Their Countries to the Brink of a Trade War

On the first day of talks, Mr. Lighthizer presented US demands in an eight-section document that called on China to reduce its $375 billion trade surplus with the US by $200 billion within two years, to scrap policies and subsidies that supported favored industries, and to pledge not to retaliate if the US imposed tariffs. It was “surrender or die,” says Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the US-China Business Council, a trade association of large US firms.