The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Tariff Policy

by Lucio Blanco Pitlo III

The use of tariffs to address the United States’ trade imbalance with key trade partners will hamper longstanding U.S. economic leadership. Bilateral negotiations with concerned trade partners and WTO mechanisms would provide a less disruptive approach to settling trade disputes. Unilateral imposition of tariffs may invite retaliatory measures and trigger a trade war, which may spiral out of control. Allies and partners may suffer collateral damage, regional and global production chains may be affected, and it may set an unhealthy precedent for other countries to emulate in resolving trade disputes with partners. Against the backdrop of U.S. withdrawal from the TPP and efforts to renegotiate NAFTA, KORUS and the U.S.-Japan FTA, the Trump administration’s tariff policy may only exacerbate doubts about enduring U.S. commitment to uphold established trade regimes. Continue reading “The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Tariff Policy”

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Trade war is not a zero-sum game, but a lose-lose for the US and China

by Aidan Yao/ 28 March 2018/ South China Morning Post

With three rounds of tariffs in less than three months, US President Donald Trump has significantly upped his game on trade protectionism, casting doubts over the outlook for Sino-US economic relations. Continue reading “Trade war is not a zero-sum game, but a lose-lose for the US and China”

Primacy and Balance: Trump’s China Strategy

by Lucio Blanco Pitlo III / March 16, 2018 / Originally Posted at China-US Focus

In September 2016, Zack Cooper and Jake Douglas from U.S. think-tank CSIS categorized four U.S. perspectives in dealing with China, based on an assessment of Chinese intentions and power trajectory. They presented them at a conference on the “South China Sea (SCS) in the Broader Maritime Security of the Indo-Pacific,” held in Canberra. I had the great privilege of taking part in the conference, presenting a co-authored paper on the Philippine perspective on the SCS disputes. Though it had been in circulation much earlier, the then less-used geographic term “Indo-Pacific” later received greater currency more than a year afterwards, as President Trump laid out his vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” Continue reading “Primacy and Balance: Trump’s China Strategy”

Making China Great Again

By Evan Osnos / January 8, 2018/ The New Yorker

When the Chinese action movie “Wolf Warrior II” arrived in theatres, in July, it looked like a standard shoot-’em-up, with a lonesome hero and frequent explosions. Within two weeks, however, “Wolf Warrior II” had become the highest-grossing Chinese movie of all time. Some crowds gave it standing ovations; others sang the national anthem. In October, China selected it as its official entry in the foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Continue reading “Making China Great Again”

 

US can no longer compel China to do its bidding

by David M Lampton/  10 December 2017/ Financial Review

On entering office, US President Donald Trump put several contentious issues with China on the backburner in the hope of achieving his primary goal — North Korea’s denuclearisation. When that failed, the  frontburner of US–China relations became crowded with previously repressed issues.

Several of these — US freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, talk of steel and aluminium tariffs, weapons sales to Taiwan, threats to tighten technology and investment flows as well as secondary sanctions on Chinese entities — threaten to become serious problems if not managed in a more careful manner than the Trump administration is currently demonstrating.

Continue reading “US can no longer compel China to do its bidding”

What we know about China’s strategy when it comes to U.S.-China economic relations

By Claire Reade | August 2, 2017 on CSIS.org

July 16, 2017, marked the final deadline under the highly publicized Donald Trump–Xi Jinping 100-day action plan for resolving key U.S.-China trade issues, a major outcome of the two presidents’ April 2017 meeting in Florida. Intensive, results-oriented negotiations on a small set of specific issues were supposed to transform how effectively the United States and China would be able to solve problems. But that did not happen. Continue reading “What we know about China’s strategy when it comes to U.S.-China economic relations”

Trump could be on the brink of starting a trade war with China

 by David Dollar and Ryan Hass, August 9, 2017/ Brookings

President Trump is expected to direct the U.S. Trade Representative to open a 301 investigation into China’s violation of U.S. intellectual property rights, especially through forced technology transfer. This signals a tougher trade stance on the part of the administration, but it will be some months before it is clear how serious U.S. actions will be. Continue reading “Trump could be on the brink of starting a trade war with China”

US policy challenges in the Asia-Pacific

by Ankit Panda / 31 July 2017 / IISS Voices

Security trends in Asia in the first six months of 2017 appeared to emphasise that challenges first identified in 2016 would persist and intensify for regional states. However, one important new variable was introduced to the mix. The Trump administration has left Asian countries – US allies, partners and adversaries alike – unsure of what to expect. Indeed, a hallmark of the new president’s diplomatic style is embracing unpredictability. In the meantime, threats continue to intensify across the region. Continue reading “US policy challenges in the Asia-Pacific”