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Boot: No Clear Path Out of U.S.-China Trade War

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Courtesy Angela Weck / PAWAC
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Foreign policy expert Max Boot, left, and WCBU's Tim Shelley, who moderated the session.

Foreign policy expert and Washington Post columnist Max Boot said he isn't sure how the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China will ultimately be resolved.

"You know, I thought we would have had a settlement a long time ago, because what I assumed would happen is that the Chinese would agree to buy a whole bunch of agricultural products, mouth some meaningless platitudes about respecting intellectual property, and Trump would announce this is the greatest deal ever and the tariffs are being suspended, he's won this amazing victory. And it hasn't happened," Boot said.

On Monday, the Trump administration labeled China a currency manipulator after the yuan was devalued, weakening the impact of U.S. tariffs. China then announced it would halt importing American agricultural products. 

Boot said there aren't many signs the increased tariffs are working to bring China to the bargaining table.

"It's not obvious to me how we get out of this. I'm not sure it's obvious to the White House. Because the tariffs and trade war have not scared China into giving up," he said. 

He said China's ultimate strategy may be to maximize economic pain on America as the 2020 elections approach and wait Trump out of office. 

Boot was at Bradley University on Monday for a question and answer session with the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.