With President’s Trump decision to defy opposition from his own party and proceed with stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum in the name of protecting U.S. industry and national security, the question of a trade war is once again relevant. In response to the new tariffs, China announced that it’ll take “effective measures to firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.” The United States happens to run a significant tourism exports surplus with China, and Chinese curbs on tourism to the United States would most certainly mean a multi-billion dollar loss for the U.S. economy.
Even so, such a move seems unlikely. And this despite China’s clear willingness to use its tourists as a diplomacy tool with countries like South Korea, the Vatican, and Taiwan—not to mention along its so-called Belt and Road. But no, Chinese tourism will not be a casualty of a trade war, especially at this point in time.