KU News Service

Delay of China tariff increases not yet cause for optimism in end to trade war, international law expert says

Mon, 02/25/2019

LAWRENCE — President Donald Trump announced Sunday a delay in tariff increases on Chinese goods that were set to take place if a new agreement on several trade issues was not reached. Citing “productive” trade talks and an upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the announcement indicates a potential end to a monthslong trade war between the two nations.

Raj Bhala, Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, is available to discuss the development with media. An international trade law expert, Bhala can discuss tariffs, U.S.-China trade relations, issues of contention between the two nations such as intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture and the upcoming Trump-Jinping meeting.

“The president’s decision to delay the increase from 10 to 25 percent is not surprising, but it also is a possible signal China may be nearing the point of giving up what it is willing to concede and is buying additional time to adjust for that increase,” Bhala said. “Simply put, there is no cause yet for optimism as to a solution that meaningfully addresses America’s core concerns in a verifiable, enforceable manner.”

Bhala has researched and written extensively on international trade law. The author of dozens of journal articles on the topic, he has also written the books “The TPP Objectively: Law, Economics, and National Security of History’s Largest, Longest Free Trade Agreement,” the four-volume textbook and treatise “International Trade Law: A Comprehensive Textbook,” and “Modern GATT Law,” among others. He has lectured around the world on topics regarding trade law and is currently working in Israel. Bhala has worked in more than 25 countries, including China, India, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

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