Today, Donald Trump tweeted a comment by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon suggesting Trump’s China tariffs have hit the country hard. In an interview with CBS News, Dimon said, “I’ve been in China and the Chinese will say he brought us to the table,” referring to Trump. In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, Dimon described himself as a Democrat-Republican mix.
Jamie Dimon, George Soros, and Warren Buffett
This isn’t the first time that Trump’s China tariffs have won support from people who aren’t necessarily Republican. Earlier this year, George Soros also backed Trump’s China tariffs. Soros wanted Trump to get even tougher with China and not use Huawei as bait in trade talks. And last year, Berkshire Hathaway chair Warren Buffett appeared to support Trump’s steel tariffs. Notably, Buffett has been wary of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, and Buffett’s views tend to differ from Trump’s. In a shareholder letter this year, Buffett apparently took a dig at Trump.
Trump’s China tariffs hurting both countries
Trump’s trade war has hit China’s and the US’s exports to each other. However, in absolute terms, China’s exports to the US have fallen more, lowering the United States’ trade deficit with China.
Although there were reports last week that Trump might waive China’s tariffs, Trump clarified that he had not agreed to any waivers. The news triggered a sell-off in Chinese equity markets today. US equity markets are also in the red today, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 both down. However, the indexes are hovering near all-time highs.
With his recent comments on the Chinese tariffs, Trump has again stoked fears that a US-China trade deal may not be as close as we thought. In fact, previous optimism has been followed by trade tensions suddenly escalating. Therefore, it’s important to add some caution to any optimism. For more analysis, read US-China Trade War: There’s No Miracle Deal.