Rising prices damage consumers and the economy
The tariffs levied on China span a huge range of agricultural, industrial, energy, and technology fields. Their impact on the Chinese economy will be large.
The China and U.S. trade war creates an inevitable rise in tariffs placed upon imports from both countries. The U.S. places a tariff on Chinese goods, and China responds with a tariff on U.S. goods, to which the U.S. must respond and relaunch the cycle anew. The result is a vicious cycle of continually increasing prices for Chinese and American consumers and businesses alike. This is particularly bad for China given that some of the imports that have rising prices are food. China faces rising prices for food such as fruit, vegetables, meat (especially pork), and grains; in April of 2019 the price of pork was up 14% and broader food prices were up 6.1% compared with the year before. The rising prices can impact consumer spending which could cause an even bigger problem for China’s economy. In the event of an escalating and unchecked trade war, economic realities for consumers might be put on the backburner while China is forced to pursue a political show of strength.
The counter-tariffs that China levies will be calculated to be as harmless to the Chinese economy as possible. Furthermore, China is a net exporter rather than importer to the United States, so it will not be as impacted by consumer prices increasing as the U.S. will be. Even in the worst-case scenario, China can branch out to sources for imported goods.
[P1] A trade war necessitates a continually expanding range of tariffs from both sides. [P2] China will be forced to raise tariffs on things that will make life for Chinese consumers and businesses more expensive. [P3] More expensive imported goods hurt the quality of life which is bad for China. [P4] Therefore, the trade war will be bad for China.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P2] China can raise tariffs surgically, avoiding the most crucial arteries of the Chinese import economy.