U.S.-China Economic Competition Is Headed Down A Dangerous Path, nationalinterest.org

Mathew Burrows, Counselor and Program Lead of the Stimson Center’s Strategic Foresight Hub , Josef Braml, Secretary General of the German Group and the European Director of the Trilateral Commission

As Biden and Trump compete over who can raise tariffs on China the most to win blue-collar votes, both ignore the disadvantages of protectionism and “derisking” from China. Specifically, the United States risks global leadership, economic growth, and progress against climate change as it turns away from China and imposes high tariffs. […]

Walling yourself off economically from the rest of the world has unfortunate implications for U.S. global influence. In 2000, the United States was at the helm of global trade, with over 80 percent of countries trading with it more than China. By 2018, that number had dropped sharply to just 30 percent, as China had taken the top position in 128 of 190 countries. With China’s economy slowing, the United States could be in an advantageous position to expand and reinforce its influence capacity. However, its success will be conditioned on additional economic outreach, especially liberal trade agreements and further incorporation of the Global South into global decision-making. […]

We live in dangerous times. More than a generation has passed since the benefits of internationalism and cooperation were “glaringly obvious,” as the historian Bear Braumoeller has noted. There are few inhibitions across the U.S. government toward seeing China as the enemy, while some strategists openly contemplate war. Trade is not a cure for war, but it keeps open channels of communication and increases the costs of belligerence. To the rest of the world, the United States appears merely as a “status quo power,” looking after its narrow interests. This is not the nation envisioned by Ronald Reagan as “a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans…a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity.”  Läs artikel