Summary of China Deserves Donald Trump

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The promise to take on China’s unfair trading practices has been a cornerstone of Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign. Two years into his presidency, Trump has unleashed a trade war with China that has brought him both praise and criticism. New York Times columnist and fierce Trump critic Thomas L. Friedman agrees with the president that the United States must revamp its trade relationship with China. In his op-ed, Friedman explains why more is at stake than just trade deficits and soy beans.

About the Author

Thomas L. Friedman is the best-selling author of The World Is Flat and The Lexus and the Olive Tree, among other titles. He’s also an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.



At its current stage of economic development, China can no longer legitimately insist on receiving the same special trading privileges it once had.

When the United States re-established trade with China in the 1970s, China was still a developing country. The United States was willing to tolerate Chinese protectionism and government subsidies as the country was building its industrial base. As part of a mutually beneficial trading partnership, the United States was buying cheap manufactured goods from China, while China was importing US beef, soybeans and airplanes. Upon China’s admission to the World Trade Organization in 2001, China continued to receive concessions reserved for developing countries, and the United States was willing to look the other way when China...

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