The trade war with China – Is it still a thing?

While you weren’t looking — maybe while watching hearings about impeachment — the trade war with China went off the rails and lost its meaning.

You need to learn why the US began a trade war with China in the first place to understand why. It started with a very specific investigation, one that used Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to examine US intellectual property claims of Chinese theft.

The report revealed what many in the business community had been speaking about for years: how China exploited its U.S. partners, stole U.S. corporations ‘ IP, pressured them to disclose their technologies to Chinese rivals, and muscled U.S. businesses out of the Chinese economy in favour of state-owned companies.

This was a question beyond the capability of the World Trade Organization, the Trump administration said. It’s been an issue worth going to the economic war. And we’ve done that.

But so far, nothing has been achieved by this trade war apart from breaking up US supply chains and souring US-China ties. And now, instead of exploring meaningful ways of opening up the Chinese economy to US firms, it is claimed that trade negotiators are haggling over how many soybeans China should purchase.

The state of the negotiations today sounds much like the status of the negotiations back in December 2018, when the weapons were briefly laid down by the US and China. Back then, The New York Times called the agreement— which included a resumption of Chinese soybean purchases— “less a compromise than averted a collapse.” The administration’s “step one” deal currently working on would also do the same.