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The Future of U.S.-China Trade Ties

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The Future of U.S.-China Trade Ties

Brookings Institution,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

China is ground zero in the postelection US debate on protectionist trade policies.

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  • Comprehensive
  • Analytical
  • Innovative


Donald Trump has made stanching the flow of free trade a centerpiece of his plan to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. But how well would choking off trade with China, which ranks first in global exports, actually work? Senior Brookings fellow David Dollar explains in clear, concise language why protectionist trade policies would hurt the United States and how to use better strategies to reverse the loss of jobs and falling wages. getAbstract recommends this illuminating article to policy makers and anyone concerned about the future of global trade.


Trade with China has adversely affected the US manufacturing sector and depressed wages for its semi-skilled workers. Yet the best response is not to embrace protectionism. Rather, it is to combine a system of incentives and deterrents that would persuade China to become a more balanced, responsive trading and investing partner. While estimates of China’s influence on the loss of US jobs vary, most experts agree that eliminating the US trade deficit would have raised manufacturing employment by three million jobs. The problem intensified as Chinese exports expanded from textiles and cheap electronics to more complex technology...

About the Author

David Dollar is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center.

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