Losing by Bullying in China and Elsewhere

  1. The US represents 18% of Chinese exports, as does the EU. By making this an exclusive deal we lost half our leverage. That was a “get out of jail free” card for the Chinese. They didn’t have to worry about dividing the West, because we did it for them. (Not the only example of giving China exactly what they want.)
  2. We have dispensed with the idea that this is about international rules for fair trade. Instead this is strictly about what our national leverage can get us. That’s not a great basis for compliance (particularly given history), and there are many ways that trade deals can fail to deliver. Further, by setting arbitrary tariffs we’re striking a blow for protectionism, not open markets. That’s the last thing we should be doing when a primary goal is access to a Chinese economy that is already larger than ours and growing faster.

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