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Trade disputes with China shoot US in the foot
2018-06-05 14:40:00

Trade disputes with China shoot US in the foot

Li Chunding

 

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US-China trade friction has intensified, and one excuse that the Trump administration has used for trade protectionism against China is that China has been stealing US jobs, especially in the manufactur¬ing sector.

But bilateral trade has nothing to do with unemployment in the US.

China itself or trade with China is merely scapegoats. The US is being a fault finder without realizing that the real reasons are internal, and the trade conflict will jeopardize manufacturing jobs on both sides.

Although trade protectionism may hurt Chinese exports and industries, they won’t make jobs return to the US. The US demand for manufactur¬ing jobs has decreased along with the nation’s industrial transition, which has resulted in improved productivity. Starting in the 1980s, manufacturing shifted out of the US. There were the Four Asian Tigers. Then came China, which entered the WTO in 2001 and grew into the world’s manufacturing center. After China, Southeast Asia will likely attract most jobs be¬cause of labor cost advantages. Even advanced manufacturing won’t necessarily go back to the US.

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