An Update on Sino-US Trade Relations under the Trump Administration
Despite expectations to the contrary, since Donald Trump took office as the US President in January 2017, Sino-US trade relations have remained largely amicable, with many of his campaign pledges to get tough on China yet to come to fruition. Instead, Trump and Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, held a series of what were described as positive and productive meetings at a high-level encounter in April 2017, where the US and China agreed on a 100-day plan to tackle trade, investment and a number of other economic issues. The two sides have subsequently reached an agreement with regard to their initial commitments under the terms of the plan as well as their objectives for the next phase.
Despite such favourable developments, the Trump administration has moved ahead with a number of trade enforcement actions against those economies that it sees as engaging in unfair trade or otherwise failing to abide by the rules, while Trump has issued several additional executive orders that may yet have an impact on Sino-US trade relations. Evidently, the political hardships facing the Trump presidency, as well as the on-going tussles between the various factions that make up his administration, make it difficult to predict with any confidence the likely evolution of Sino-US trade relations, with the possibility of a tougher approach towards China being taken in the future impossible to rule out. While trade conflicts of some kind between the two countries are likely to be inevitable, the chances of a full-blown trade war remain slim, largely on account of the prevailing inter-dependence of the two across a range of international issues.
Date and Venue:
27 October- 30 October 2017
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center
1 Expo Dr