The Day at a Glance | May 4 2020

US-China tensions rekindle

Over the weekend, statements were made by US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pointing at China as the culprit for the pandemic, and have talked about possible retaliatory measures. Americans have blamed Beijing`s government for mishandling COVID-19`s outbreak which occurred at the beginning of the year and caused its quick spread throughout the rest of the world. Pompeo assured there is significant evidence of the virus having been created in a laboratory in Wuhan, even though he did not present any; meanwhile, Trump cited the use of new tariffs as punishment for China`s weak and questionable response to the pandemic. These statements have revived concerns of trade-war attacks resuming between both global powers, something that would threaten the current trade agreement`s livelihood, which was reached in January. It`s estimated discussions in the White House regarding retaliatory measures against China for the pandemic have only begun, however, according to recent reports, the administration considers – not only new tariffs – but also economic sanctions, non-tariff trade restrictions, or the elimination of China`s sovereign immunity (which would allow the United States to sue China through US courts). The possible suspension of US debt to China has even been talked about, even though Trump discarded this last Friday. The resumption of economic aggressions between both countries would not be good news for the global economy and its recovery in the medium term.

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