The verdict is in on U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. Regardless of whether U.S. negotiators soon reach a deal with Beijing, the administration’s initial gambit has run aground. After wreaking havoc on portions of the U.S. economy with his trade policies, the president is now angling to freeze or roll back tariffs on Chinese products in exchange for almost nothing. Deal or no deal in the coming days, it is clear that the United States needs a fundamentally different approach to economic competition with China—one that bolsters U.S. technological and financial power while countering Beijing’s malign activities directly.
Tariff hikes haven’t forced Beijing to capitulate. Chinese negotiators are reportedly making only vague commitments to assuage U.S. concerns about currency manipulation and intellectual property theft. They have refused outright to accept a much-needed enforcement mechanism on international trade practices or to make structural reforms to promote economic competition at home and abroad. At best, Beijing will restore agricultural purchases to pre–trade war levels, offering as its biggest concession something it wants to do anyway: let in more U.S. capital to balance China’s checkbook and reenergize sluggish growth.
Read the full article in Foreign Affairs.
Explore a series of recommendations for policymakers by Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg and Paul Scharre:
More from CNAS
CommentaryTrump Has Made Sanctions a Path to Strikes
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to kill the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, the architect of Iran’s political and military influence in the Middle East, and the Irani...
By Elizabeth Rosenberg & Neil Bhatiya
CommentaryWatch Out for Iranian Info Wars Funded By Crypto
With tensions rising between Washington and Tehran in the wake of the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qasim Soleimani earlier this month, U.S. officials should expect more Ira...
By Yaya J. Fanusie
CommentaryHow To Really Help Free North Koreans Through Crypto
A few weeks ago, the FBI arrested an Alabama-born computer programmer for allegedly helping the North Korean regime evade U.S. sanctions through blockchain technology. Accordi...
By Yaya J. Fanusie
CommentaryThe U.S.-Chinese Trade War Just Entered Phase 2
The Trump administration’s “phase one” trade deal with China may mark the end of the first chapter of the trade conflict between the United States and China, which saw Washing...
By Peter Harrell