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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 8th September 2017 > BREAKING CHINA


Why President Trump may still want an economic war with Beijing

STEVE BANNON may be gone, but some of his ideas could live beyond his short time in the White House—namely, his provocative views on trade with China. The instant reaction when President Donald Trump fired his muchmaligned chief strategist was that Bannon and his allies had been vanquished. The victors, many assumed, were those like Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s National Economic Council, who don’t want to disrupt the status quo with China, fearing that Beijing wouldn’t help the U.S. stymie North Korea’s nukes program, among other issues.

But the so-called globalists haven’t won yet. In what effectively became his exit interview, Bannon told The American Prospect in August that there is no realistic military option when it comes to the North. That undercut the administration’s public position (“Everything’s on the table”), but it also happens to be true. Bannon then shocked everyone with his stance on trade. “We’re at economic war with China,” he said. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years, and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.”

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