China may have underestimated the president’s determination, and the global fallout from any US ‘victory’ will come later
When Donald Trump’s chief trade adviser went to Beijing in May with proposals to open up China’s vast domestic market to American goods – and thereby reduce a ballooning trade deficit with China – the mission was declared a failure.
Before Robert Lighthizer set off, the veteran rightwing economist told Congress: “It is not my objective to change the Chinese system. It seems to work for them … But I have to be in a position where the US can deal with it, where the US isn’t the victim of it. And that’s where our role is.”
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