China's Potential Trick in the Trade Wars

David Lynch of The Washington Post points out a largely unnoticed tactic the Chinese are able to use in the current trade wars. Something the Chinese government has used in the past on South Korea. Boycotting travel to the United States. Although many believe prohibiting travel to the US would anger too many Chinese middle-class citizens making it almost impossible, the trick remains up their sleeve to be used.

According to this article the US greatly benefits from Chinese tourists who have been averaged to spend about $6,900 per trip amounting to $60 billion a year. In 2017 travel and tourism “brought American airlines, hotels and tourist operators $32 billion, twice as much as all US aircraft sales to China.” However tourism is just a piece of the larger sum. Education is an incredibly important factor for the Chinese and in 2017 over 350,000 Chinese students came abroad to study in the US which is “almost twice as many as India, the No. 2 source.” As you can imagine, this helps US Universities tremendously not only with filling seats but Chinese students pay higher tuition. This is especially beneficial to struggling Universities.

There has already been a 13% decline in Chinese citizens receiving visas compared to last last year (about 102,000 individuals) and that’s without a mandated government travel restriction. If China were to decide to use this response method of boycotting travel to the US, implications on the US economy could be devasting.

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