Victor Shih

Pressure is up on US president Trump to act against China in trade issues. Trump has been avoiding harsh action up to now, and political analyst Victor Shih warns that with a major political conference ahead, moderation will not be high on the country’s agenda, he tells Bloomberg.


After sending warm signals toward China early in his presidency, Trump appears to be dialing up pressure on the Chinese government to change its ways. At the same time, he has been reluctant to pull the trigger on steep import tariffs or quotas that would risk retaliation. Trump recently backed away from threats to slap tariffs on foreign steel, after he took heat from Group of 20 nations and U.S. businesses that said the move would raise costs.

From China’s point of view, a more aggressive stance from the U.S. will be met in kind as the government gears up for a vital leadership transition at the 19th Party Congress later this year, according to Victor Shih, a professor at the University of California in San Diego.

“One can basically expect tit-for-tat behavior from China through the congress,” Shih said. “Perhaps China will begin a national security or cyber-security investigation on U.S.-made high-tech products. Perhaps even more.”

More in Bloomberg.

Victor Shih is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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