The U.S.-China Trade War: What Have We Learned So Far?

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Today: 12:00 pm  Mergenthaler 266

It was never just about the trade deficit. Donald Trump correctly insists that America didn’t start the latest round of trade frictions; it was belatedly responding to Chinese practices that previous U.S. presidents had complained of for years. Xi Jinping, reasonably, sees American insistence on Chinese “structural reform” as an assault on his Party’s governance that is tantamount to a call for regime change. Chinese soybean purchases and American sanctions relief won’t mend the matter. Domestic politics in both nations, irreconcilable strategic goals, and competing values and historical illusions will prevent the 21st Century’s two great powers from satisfying each other—or even managing their differences well—for several decades.