Despite “America First” policies, President Trump’s economic agenda rests on expanding trade with China. The historical bilateral trade deals in Beijing support continued economic integration in Asia. PRESIDENT Donald Trump began his grueling 12-day Asia tour amid US Special Counsel’s first indictments, which cast a shadow over the White House’s future. Nevertheless, Trump and President Xi Jinping were able to sign deals worth $253 billion, which makes the visit to China historic in terms of the value of business agreements struck. That’s vital to sustained regional economic integration in Asia. But why did Trump – despite his occasional tough talk – opt for the deal? And is it likely to prevail? Rapid trade expansion The increase of imports from China in the US and the bilateral trade imbalance is the result of movement in production facilities from other mainly Asian countries to China. A quarter century ago, those products used to be made first in Japan or “Asian tigers” (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea) and then exported to the US. Today, they are made in China; in many cases, by foreign companies, including US firms. Over the period, the share of US imports from China has soared sevenfold to… Read full this story
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