The U.S. often takes hostages in trade fights. They usually aren’t live human beings

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
December 12, 2018

The United States, like other countries, frequently uses the tactic of hostage taking in trade disputes. When it imposes punitive tariffs against another country, it very often targets politically sensitive products to put more pressure on the government. At the World Trade Organization, it is refusing to agree to the appointment of new judges, to try to force other WTO members to accede to its demands. However, hostage taking is usually understood as a metaphor — live human beings aren’t usually involved.

Now, President Trump has changed the game. Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is out on bail in Canada, where she was detained in response to a U.S. extradition request, relating to possible sanctions violations. The United States has claimed, probably truthfully, that her arrest was unrelated to the trade battle between Washington and Beijing.

Read the full piece at The Washington Post