For what feels like the thousandth time now, China is showing why trade wars are not, as President Donald Trump put it, “good, and easy to win.”
Last week, the president decided to ratchet up his confrontation with Beijing, announcing that he would soon impose tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese imports. If he goes forward with the move, essentially all of the goods China sells to the U.S. will face taxes at the border. Now, the People's Republic is hitting back. Government officials have told state-owned companies to “suspend purchases of U.S. agricultural products,” Bloomberg reported Sunday—a retaliatory move putting further pressure on American farmers that one analyst described as “an 11” on a scale of 1 to 10. And the Chinese aren't stopping there. The government also allowed its currency to dramatically depreciate during trading Monday, letting it fall to an all-time low in the important offshore market.