The outcome of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) is nothing like we expected, even worse, the summit is highly influenced by the disagreements between the United States and China.
On the whole, APEC should continue to promote an open world economy and oppose protectionism and unilateralism. As a development trend, globalization has different distribution effects among different countries and groups.
Trump’s steps to quit multilateral international obligations, and initiate a trade war against several countries made it clear that to him, the Republican Party was doomed to lose control of the House.
As China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) extended its footprint, launching investment projects along both the ancient Silk Road as well as across the entirety of Eurasia and Africa, Washington saw an urgent need to counter China’s projection of influence. The BUILD Act is America’s belated response to BRI.
China does not need and will not seek a release of pressure on commodity exports by guiding the RMB to unilaterally depreciate sharply. In fact, this is also unfavorable to China in its efforts to attract foreign investment and enhance its import capacity.
It is easy to take sides politically or ideologically, but politicization of trade issues is itself a poison pill that no one will be able to escape. The poison pill as embedded in USMCA is after all poisonous, not only for China, but also the world at large.
Talks are always better than no talks. Ultimately, no one really cares who took the first step because the essence of the whole matter is to contain the increasing damages to both economies.
Time pushes forward, with less than half a year until the U.S. midterm elections this coming November, and a president whose lawyer is currently under an FBI investigation; the Trump administration is in a tussle, not only for its mandate, but also for its survival.