As the trade war between the world’s two largest economies nears the end of its first week, its most unsettling fact may be this: No one seems to foresee any clear path to peace.
The United States insists that China abandon the brass-knuckles tactics it’s used to try to supplant America’s technological dominance. Yet Beijing isn’t about to drop its zeal to acquire the technology it sees as crucial to its prosperity.
Having run for the White House on a vow to force China to reform its trade policies, President Donald Trump won’t likely yield to vague promises by Beijing to improve its behavior — or to pledges to buy more American soybeans or liquefied natural gas.
“It certainly feels like we’re in for a protracted fight,” said Timothy Keeler of the law firm Mayer Brown and a former chief of staff at the Office of the US Trade Representative. “Truthfully, I don’t know what the off-ramp is.”
The first shots sounded July 6: The United States…