The US-China trade war just got a lot worse. And there’s no quick fix for relations

Still, Jacob Parker, vice president of China Operations at the US-China Business Council, warned that if the Trump administration confronts China too aggressively, it could backfire. He said that instead of persuading China to open up more to American companies and ending its insistence that they share their technology in return for market access, aggressive new tariffs could have the opposite effect. Parker also warned that Friday’s tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese imports — and Trump’s threats to slap tariffs on an additional $325 billion in Chinese goods in the near future — has undermined economic reformers in the Chinese system and strengthened the voices of hard-liners. “That hardens those voices domestically and reinforces the perspective that the US is trying to contain China,” he said. “If we push the Chinese too far, I think there’s a concern in the business community that we may go beyond what China can accept and that things could start to fall apart. If that happens, I think we can at the least expect that the Chinese economic reform process would come to an end.”