U.S. trade policy toward China under the Trump Administration is heavily focused on addressing the perceived unfairness and competitive disadvantages created by China’s industrial policies, chief among them, Made in China 2025. Here’s your Essential graphic on the policy’s core components.
Export controls are not a new idea. They date back to at least the 14th century when the English tried to keep longbow technology out of the hands of the French during the Hundred Years War. Today, we face a very different world with multiple adversaries, including non-state actors, and no strong consensus on how or when to act.
Made in China 2025 calls for achieving “self-sufficiency” through technology substitution while becoming a “manufacturing superpower” that dominates the global market in critical high-tech industries. That could be a problem for countries that rely on exporting high-tech products or the global supply chain for high-tech components.
China and Europe trade over €1 billion a day on average. With more than 61 routes traversing 43 Chinese cities and 41 European cities across 13 countries, new direct rail linkages are connecting the more than 6,000 miles between China and Europe and transforming the way cargo moves on the Eurasian continent.
Whether you’re in need of a new dental crown, a facelift, fertility treatments, or a new heart valve, there are doctors and hospitals around the world who would gladly treat you, exporting their health services by offering top-of-the-line facilities with the newest technology, Western-trained doctors, comfortable stays, and reasonable bills.
Farmers are price takers. For years, the export opportunities created by market opening policies have been positively reflected the price they get for their corn. But as we spoke about current trade policy with its frequent tariff announcements, the farmers were checking the current price of corn. “We’re down to 3.6!” a farmer from Michigan interjects as we talk about China.
There is plenty of collateral damage in a tariff war because the one-upmanship spills over beyond the sectors named in the original complaint (steel for example), sweeping in producers like farmers for maximum political effect. The other dirty little secret in tariff wars is that they provide cover for governments to protect the producers of products facing normal market competition. That’s what might just be motivating our closest trading partners to put American whiskey on their lists for tariff retaliation.
The Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program developed and maintains the Export Monitor. In the unfolding tariff war with some of our major trading partners, the analysts at the Metropolitan Policy Program recently released an important analysis of how exposed individual U.S. states and metropolitan areas are to new tariffs on the products they make and export.
The U.S. Administration has announced yet another investigation which could result in tariffs – this time on automobiles. Given the recent flurry of trade actions, it would be understandable if they all started to blend together in the mind of observers.