President Barack Obama defended the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact as a cover against China, which writes the global trade rules for the twenty-first century. But within days of taking office, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal and imposed tariffs on trading partners and began a trade war with China. But the deal preserves most of the tariffs imposed by Mr. Trump on $360 billion of Chinese goods and maintains the threat of additional penalties if Beijing does not abides by the terms of the deal. A December 2018 article by two Chinese academics said that in the worst-case scenario of the trade war, China would suffer a 1.1 percent drop in employment and a 1 percent loss in GDP, which is not negligible for its two academics, but is manageable for China.  Another paper published by Chinese academics in February 2018 also concluded that while the U.S. would suffer heavy welfare losses as a result of the trade war, China could easily lose or gain depending on the impact of the trade war on the U.S.-China trade balance.  The trade war is a frequent topic on Chinese social media, a popular internet meme referring to Thanos, a Marvel Comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe villain who, along with the Infinity Gauntlet, wipes out half of all life in the universe and jokes that Trump will similarly wipe out half of Chinese investors.  Other Republican senators said they were more divided. Mitch McConnell said “no one wins a trade war,” but he won hope that the tactic “would put us in a better position, against China.” John Cornyn said, “If that`s what it takes to make a good deal, I think people are going to get stuck there, but at some point it will have to be solved. If it lasts a long time, everyone will realize that he is playing with a live grenade.  Joni Ernst said in May 2019 that the “tariffs are hurtful to peasants,” but that they “want us to find a way with China” and said, “We hope to be able to get a deal soon.”  An analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics showed that in January 2018, i.e. before the start of the trade war, China imposed uniform tariffs of 8% on average on all its importers. By June 2019, tariffs on U.S. imports had climbed to 20.7 percent, while tariffs on other nations were reduced to 6.7 percent.  The analysis also showed that average U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods rose from 3.1% in 2017 to 24.3% in August 2019.  The RCEP agreement is loose enough to meet the different needs of Member States as different as Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. . .