Trump and China

AFP/GETTY BBC

AFP/GETTY BBC

We ran the numbers: There are 42 news articles covering this topic. Of these, 7 (16%) are left leaning, 17 (40%) are center, 14 (33%) are right leaning, and 5 (12%) articles were from sources not analyzed by Nobias.

Over the past year, the United States has placed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and the Chinese government has retaliated by imposing duties on $110 billion worth of American products. Last week, President Trump signaled that the end of the U.S.-China trade war may be at hand, citing recent progress in his negotiations.


Journalists have covered this story from a number of different angles—some focusing on the internal dynamics of the Trump administration, some delving into the specifics of potential trade deals, and some analyzing the larger potential ramifications on the geopolitical stage. One important aspect to note is that “trade” is one of the topics that divide both liberal and conservative politicians, constituting what some refer to as a “political realignment.”


Articles from left-leaning sources generally focused more on the poor relationships or communication within the Trump administration or on China’s response to perceived American incompetence, with headlines like “Trump Undermines Top Trade Adviser as He Pushes for China Deal” (New York Times) and “China's Chief Negotiator Literally Laughs In Donald Trump's Face During Trade Talk” (Esquire). Right-leaning articles were more focused on technical aspects of the trade deal or simply quoted the President’s claim that progress is underway, with such titles as “One key reason Trump delayed the trade deadline with China” (Washington Examiner) and “Trump delays China tariff hike, announces Xi summit, citing 'substantial progress' in trade talks” (Fox News).


Those headlines mirrored a marked difference in content. Left-leaning articles were more likely to focus on the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s recent testimony that a trade deal with China is still in the distance or to mock inaccurate statements of Trump’s. Right-leaning articles were more likely to cite potential evidence for the President’s claim that there is substantive progress in negotiations with China.

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