“Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” With those fateful words, uttered by President Donald Trump in March 2018, the United States government embarked on a prolonged conflict that will have lasting consequences not just for the economies of the US, but also for China and the global trading community.
Defying the expectations of many experienced observers, the US-China trade war has since expanded steadily in scope, at a pace that now threatens to undermine US and global economic growth at a time when the nearly decade-long global recovery already was beginning to lose steam.
When will the trade war end? What measurable outcomes or benchmarks will need to be met for the Trump administration to declare that increasingly painful and costly battles have all been worthwhile and that the US has somehow emerged as the winner? Is the Phase 1 agreement reached in October the opening to a long-term agreement, or another false start?
Over the course of two months this summer and fall, the JOC interviewed numerous industry stakeholders, economists, and other experts about the lasting impact the trade war has had on supply chains that, in some cases, were decades in the making. Whether an agreement is reached in the short term or not, manufacturing and transportation networks have changed in ways that will continue to play out for years.
Read how in the wide-ranging JOC white paper — “The US-China Trade War: Where Do We Go From Here?” available for download at https://subscribe.joc.com/us-china-trade-war/.