Speaking of crimps, the Chinese government put a big one into the few hours of tutoring I do online each week. The U.S.-based platform that the Chengdu-based tutoring service uses was just placed off limits to the Chinese citizenry, and Cathy and I had to scramble to find a new and suitable and "Chinese allowed" conference platform (Cathy, who has a high-pressure, full-time corporate job, is the founder and runner of the service, as well as a good cyber-buddy of mine). Well Cathy found one that is based in China, and we kicked its tires last night in a trial run. Not bad, though the earlier platform had seemed to be faster at pulling up "share" material.
I'm guessing Cathy and I are part of the collateral damage caused by the trade war that Trump and his trade crony Peter Navarro are currently waging against China. China's own unfair trade practices must not escape blame -- though it should be remembered that China's piracy of American intellectual property mirrors America's own grifting off of Great Britain throughout the 19th century. But add to the piracy China's subsidizing of export goods, its forced labor camps, and its manipulation of the yuan. The playing field is not level.
What Trump and Navarro are doing is wrong-headed. The tit-for-tat amping of tariffs between the two countries will cost the average American household, according to JP Morgan, more than $1,000 a year; jobs on both sides are being lost, and a record number of American farmers are declaring bankruptcy; more startling, a global recession directly attributable to the trade war is looming, according to many economists. The U.S.'s hamfisted approach was formed without the consultation of America's allies; it was with the help of those allies that we had made some progress in curbing some of China's unfair practices under the Bush and Obama administrations. Trump's egotism and vanity seem more in play here than whatever level-headed problem-solving skills he may possess. Going toe-to-toe with the other big kid on the block will play well with his base -- until the economy takes a nosedive.