All papers reported extensively on what they characterized as an intensifying “trade war” between the U.S. and China following Monday’s imposition of a third round of U.S. tariffs against Chinese imports and Beijing’s immediate leveling corresponding duties on American products in response. Pointing out that higher tariffs are now in place on almost half of U.S.-bound items from China, including home appliances and miscellaneous goods, Nikkei expressed the view that the trans-Pacific “trade war” has reached a dangerous level.
The papers wrote that Japanese manufacturers operating production lines in China will probably be hit hard by the Trump administration’s tough stance on trade, with Yomiuri saying that the escalated trade friction between the two economic superpowers is prompting Japanese companies to review their parts supply chains in China and Southeast Asia. The papers underscored that companies will be forced to make additional investments if they decide to relocate their factories out of China.
Yomiuri conjectured that Washington and Beijing will engage in a “war of attrition” because there does not appear to be any sign of the trade tension being defused quickly. While quoting President Trump as saying in a White House statement released on Monday that he hopes the situation will be “resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi, for whom I have great respect and affection,” Asahi speculated that the two sides may try to seek a middle ground by arranging a meeting between their leaders on the margins of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
Sankei said Prime Minister Abe will have to align his administration’s China policy with the hard line pursued by President Trump at their summit on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mainichi opined that the escalated tit-for-tat sanctions between the U.S. and China reflect the incompetence of the WTO as it is supposed to act as a “referee” in trade disputes.