Tuesday, August 20, 2019 | ePaper
Since July last year, the US and China have been locked in a trade war. The US has slapped tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese products, and has threatened tariffs on US$325 billion more. Multiple rounds of talks have taken place between trade representatives from the two countries, but hopes for an imminent settlement are no longer assured.
Meanwhile, American business leaders are actively assessing whether they need a rethink on their China strategy, beyond the trade war. While the ongoing tariff brinkmanship has put tremendous pressure on firms doing business in China, they were already feeling the pain of growing labour costs and mounting compliance standards, besides the competition from State-controlled Entities (SOEs) and restrictive market access.
Tackling the latter - competition from SOEs and restrictive market access - are two key demands by American trade negotiators who want China to implement real structural reforms by reducing the role of the state in its economy and opening up market access to private sector players.
Its a billion dollar question at this moment -- will the US-China trade war end? If so, then how?
Dr Rubaiyat Karim
Manchester City, UK