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The White House, nine days after having said the China trade war was “on hold,” yesterday flipped the switch back to “on.” As of now, the Trump administration again plans to move forward with imposing 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China by the middle of June. To try to ascertain the position of President Trump on trade at any point in time is like trying to ascertain the position of a subatomic particle: It is better viewed as having a probabilistic distribution than as having a true position that could be discovered through sufficiently acute observation and analysis. Even under normal circumstances, it could be hard to keep track of a half dozen or more different China trade issues running simultaneously. Some of the actions that are at stake have a basis in economic or political or legal logic, while some do not.


Frankel, Jeffrey A. "What Does Trump Want in his On Again, Off Again China Trade War?" The Hill, May 30, 2018.