The Chinese were not surprised by President Donald Trump’s threats to impose more tariffs on their goods, several experts said Monday — they just assumed it was Trump being Trump.
On Sunday, Trump appeared to imperil the ongoing trade talks with China — sending stock prices on a roller coaster ride Monday — with the surprise announcement that he intended to impose tariffs on almost all goods imported from China by Friday.
“I am not sure how literally Trump’s threat is being taken in Beijing, but he has articulated essentially the same threat before,” William Hurst, a Northwestern University political science professor and an expert on Chinese politics and legal institutions, wrote in an email to NBC News.
“So it is likely not a surprise, except perhaps in its timing.”
And Trump may have inadvertently strengthened the Chinese bargaining position, Hurst said.