(Foreign Policy in Focus) -- Donald Trump built no small part of his political brand railing against Chinese industry—so much so that The Huffington Post once published a supercut of the president sneering the word “China” dozens and dozens of times, for three full minutes.
While Trump’s highly charged language about China “raping our country” showcased the president’s usual xenophobia, the part about lost jobs spoke to real economic pain that other politicians appeared to ignore. The message played well in parts of the country—like my home state of Ohio, and much of the Midwest besides—that suffered grievously as prosperous industries pulled up their stakes and moved factories to other countries, China chief among them.
Despite wild policy fluctuations on other fronts, Trump has been uncharacteristically consistent on this point. For the last few months he’s been stoking a possible trade conflict with China, threatening tariffs on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods and drawing Chinese threats to penalize U.S. industries in turn (cannily, often from the very regions that supported Trump in the 2016 election).
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