China Is Better Able To Withstand A Trade War Than In The Past

14-Jul-2018 Intellasia | NPR | 6:02 AM Print This Post

As President Trump threatens to heap more tariffs on Chinese imports, he’s got one important fact on his side: The United States remains China’s biggest single export market, buying some $500 billion in goods last year alone.

But China is less dependent on the American market than it was even a decade ago and in some ways is better able to withstand a trade war than the United States.

“The question is less whether we can do harm to them than, which one can endure the pain the better? And there are some reasons to believe that over the short term, the Chinese are better positioned to manage this,” says Robert Ross, a professor of political science at Boston College and an expert on US-China relations.

China grew into an economic superpower by becoming a major exporter, rapidly developing a large and highly efficient manufacturing base that enabled it to sell cheap products all over the world.

“We built China,” President Trump boasted during a recent appearance in South Carolina.

But China has been steadily diversifying its economy, in ways that make it less vulnerable to US pressure than it once was.

“China’s economy is much less dependent on trade now and on trade with the US than it used to be,” says Linda Lim, professor of corporate strategy and international business at the University of Michigan.

“Trade is around 20 percent of China’s economy,” she says. “Ten years ago, it was 40 percent.”


Category: China

Print This Post