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Forced U.S.-China Decoupling Poses Large Threats

Dr. Harry G. Broadman
 

By Harry G. Broadman (Original source Forbes)

“There are two putative goals of the current US administration for proactive policy “decoupling” between the U.S. and China. The first is to reorient U.S. firms’ supply chains away from China to U.S. sources, which would have the effect of helping to achieve President Trump’s principal trade policy goal with China: elimination of the bilateral U.S.-China merchandise trade deficit. The second is to prevent China’s further progress in the global race for superiority in innovation and market dominance in advanced technology products and services.

It is not up for debate that China has both engaged in trade policies that are not WTO-compliant ever since its accession to the WTO in 2001 as well as in the piracy of intellectual property and technology decades before it joined the WTO and still does. Yet, not only will the U.S. goal of forced bilateral decoupling between the two largest economies fail in a marketplace whose structure is now inherently globalized, but the policy tools being waged by the U.S., combined with its go-it-alone approach to try to contain and isolate China both economically and technologically, will not induce the changes Washington seeks from Beijing.

Indeed, there is an appreciable risk that the outcomes produced by the U.S. strategy of proactive decoupling will serve to only make the U.S. worse off and jeopardize global economic growth. There are far more effective ways to deal with China’s conduct and to generate outcomes that will more greatly benefit both the U.S. population and the world community.”

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