To Be Fair, a Trade Deal With China Must Be Tough

Robert D. Atkinson December 9, 2018
December 9, 2018

The key question following the recent meeting in Argentina between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping is not just whether there will be a deal to lift tariffs and de-escalate the U.S.–China trade war but, also, what the terms will be. Chinese officials have long engaged in a propaganda campaign to portray themselves as the aggrieved party and Trump as the unfair, protectionist aggressor who is inappropriately intruding on China’s domestic policy prerogatives. But while it is to be expected that the Chinese would attempt to spin their egregious innovation mercantilism this way, it’s disappointing that many commentators and opinion leaders in the West seem to have fallen for the ruse.

In commentary for the Epoch Times, ITIF President Rob Atkinson responds to a recent Washington Post op-ed by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, in which he suggested giving up on pressing China for systemic reforms and focusing instead on “feasible objectives” to address U.S. grievances. It’s time for China to start acting like a globally responsible trading partner. If it does, then the Chinese economy and the world economy will be better off.