Could Chinese Washing Machines Squeeze Florida Orange Juice Producers? US Presidential Candidate DeSantis Threatens Trade Wars With China.

photo credit: Florida's Natural tower.
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by Editor-July 10th, 2023.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is in the running to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2024. But he trails former president Donald Trump — who launched the ongoing trade war with China — by an overwhelming margin. DeSantis has now threatened to escalate the US trade war with China if elected President in 2024.
The Florida governor told a TV news interviewer on Sunday that he would revoke the normal trade status between Washington and Beijing — although he was unclear on how to achieve that.


“I favor doing that,” DeSantis said. “I think we probably need Congress but I would take executive action as appropriate to be able to move us in that direction.”

The US Senate voted in 2000 to normalise trade relations with China as the Asian giant applied for membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) — the US-led initiative to replace the previous General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) treaty agreed in 1947.
Despite promising a fresh start in foreign relations when he entered the White House in 2021, Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration has only deepened the trade war with Beijing started by his predecessor Donald Trump, banning the export of microchip technologies to mainland China while tacitly supporting breakaway island Taiwan’s claim to independence.
Biden undid limited diplomatic progress made on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent visit to Beijing by calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a dictator, reports Sputnik News, a Russian News agency.
A follow-up trip by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was marred by more accusations against Bejing.
DeSantis is currently running a distant second in an increasingly long field behind Trump in polling for the 2024 Republican primary race.
He and and other potential candidates may be banking on the chances of Trump’s conviction in one of two ongoing criminal prosecutions — plus a possible third in the state of Georgia — which could disqualify him from seeking a second term of office.
Donald Trump, the clear leader of the Republican field with DeSantis a distant second, has said he would give China 48 hours to get out of what sources familiar with the matter say is a Chinese spy facility in Cuba, 90 miles (145km) off the US coast.
In general economic experts think that further trade hostilities between the US and China, while detrimental to both sides, would have a worse effect on US consumers than on China.

Data from 2022 show that US exports are falling farther and farther behind foreign peers also selling into the Chinese market.

Once major US manufacturing exports—like automobiles and Boeing jets—have all but disappeared.

Semiconductor sector sales tailed off in 2022 and also may not return, due to new US export control policy. US services exports plunged during the pandemic and have not yet come back.

Where the United States has put additional tariffs on Chinese consumer products such as washing machine, the effect has simply been that US consumers pay higher prices for imported washing machines.

A possible reduction in sales of Chinese washing machines to the US is offset by the fact that China exports washing machines all over the world, and is not dependent on US sales.

Even where US exports appear to be doing alright—US farm sales to China in 2022 hit record highs—worrying signs have emerged.

Much of the agriculture gains were not the result of increased shipments but simply higher prices and concerns over global food insecurity associated with the Russia-Ukraine war. Furthermore, Chinese buyers are diversifying toward other suppliers, while the US agricultural sector remains highly dependent on the Chinese market for its exports.

Recently Florida, where Ron DeSantis is governor, has introduced some new laws that affect the ability of Chinese citizens to buy land in Florida and restricted the size of homes they may buy, but recently China has talked of retaliating by restricting imports of Florida orange juice concentrate.

Florida has also introduced laws banning all undocumented aliens from the state, so the issue might be moot if Florida cannot find enough people to pick the oranges from the trees.

Sources: CNN, Sputnik International, CNBC.
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