In framing the way forward as a competition between “great powers,” the United States risks overlooking where the front lines of international competition with these actors now lay.
It seems like a bad time to make America less immigrant friendly or less open to trade or less interested in cutting-edge science.
The US must respond to China’s protectionist behavior and technological mercantilism surrounding the information and communications technology sector and the operation of the internet.
America’s military advantage over China is rapidly eroding. While the Trump administration has charted a bold path to resuscitate America’s strategic position in Asia, it needs to make good on its own plan by devoting additional funds, strengthening regional military capabilities, and countering China’s local advantages.
For better or worse, until the Trump administration targets China-made cell phones, computers, toys, furniture and clothing, US trade numbers will look pretty much the same.
One definition of protectionism is believing trade deficits are always harmful. If so, President Trump has been a protectionist for decades. His long-held views and campaign words signify heavy political pressure to shrink the US trade deficit. Additional and unprecedented steps will be taken in 2018, primarily directed at China. But the trade deficit, especially the bilateral Sino-American deficit, may not budge.
How has China historically performed when it attempts to engage in conflict resolution? Are historical patterns of war termination behavior likely to manifest themselves in future conflicts, even with all the changes to China’s internal and external environments since its last war in 1979?
The risk is that mineral exporting countries will form a price-fixing cartel for mineral commodities similar to the one that petroleum exporters used in the 1970s to ramp up the world price of crude oil.
The US needs a reckoning with Beijing over its emergent technological mercantilism, but the rationales advanced against Huawei’s efforts to sell phones in the US are flawed.