World Perspectives

A New Normal for U.S.-China Trade?

The modern U.S.-China trade relationship has always been strained. President George W. Bush addressed this challenge by bringing China into the WTO to force its compliance with global trading rules. However, that didn’t work. While two-way trade did grow significantly, so did China’s manipulation and disregard of WTO rules it didn’t like (including coercion on tech) along with the imposition of ad hoc non-tariff barriers on U.S. ag commodities. Over the decades, the latter have included beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat, ethanol, and DDGS. Following that effort, President Obama focused on diplomacy and engagement, such as a bilateral investment treaty and the U.S.-China Economic and Strategic Dialogue. He also used i...

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