The Atlantic

To China, All's Fair in Love and Trade Wars

China has more leverage in its trade war with the U.S. than you think.
Source: Aly Song / Reuters

Just how bad are things between the United States and China? Over an evening beer in Beijing this week, a friend and I debated which prominent American company China would whack first. It’s a serious question—and the answer could be the next ugly step in the escalating economic dispute between the two powers.

The standard line from President Donald Trump and those who support his get-tough approach toward Beijing is that because China sells more to the U.S. than the other way around, Washington has the upper hand in its game of tariffs. “China buys MUCH less from us than we buy from them,” Trump recently , “so we are in a fantastic position.”

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