President Trump Throws Another Trade War Bomb At China

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Donald Trump wants to bring China’s economy down. Trump put tariffs on half the Chinese goods that enter the United States every day. That means American consumers are paying for a war they don’t want. If Chinese merchandise becomes too expensive Americans will not replace that merchandise with made in America products. American manufacturers can’t do what the Chinese do in terms of producing low-price middle of the road quality merchandise. But that fact isn’t stopping Trump from stopping other perks the Chinese enjoy when they do business with the United States.

Mr. Trump decided to remove a 144-year-old postal agreement with the Chinese that allowed Chinese businesses to send small packages to the United States at a discounted rate. The discounted rate cost the Postal Service more than $170 million a year. The end of America’s participation in the Universal Postal Union Treaty shows Trump wants to make doing business with the United States more expensive.

Trump and other government officials say the Chinese must stop stealing intellectual property from American companies. And the only way to stop the Chinese thieves is to hurt the Chinese economy. The Chinese economy puts the U.S. economy to shame, according to global economists. Even though China’s manufacturing sector isn’t as strong as it was ten years ago, the country’s incredible consumer growth makes U.S. consumer growth look weak.

The move to make the Chinese pay more for sending packages to the United States makes sense, according to the Postal Service executives. The Postal Service is a money pit, and no one knows how to turn it around. But Trump wants to show America that he knows what it takes to make the Postal Service profitable and rattle the Chinese at the same time. Ending this 1874 postal agreement will exacerbate tensions between the U.S. and China. But that’s Trump’s point. Plus, the president wants to end a treaty that doesn’t make sense. A one-pound package sent from China cost the Postal Service $10 to deliver it, but the Chinese only pay $2.50 to send it.

Universal Postal Union operates out of Switzerland. In order to leave the pact, the United States will have to wait a year, according to treaty’s rules. There are 192 member-countries in the Universal Postal Union. The United States plays a major role in that union. But small packages from China to the United States increased by 182 percent between 2011 and 2012. Even though the tariffs will decrease the number of packages the Chinese send to the U.S. it is time to end withdraw from the treaty.

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