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follow OccasionalCortex 2019 May 7, 4:50pm
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Yes, historically the US has not been much of an exporter.
Chinese exports, fixed-asset investment, consumption and industrial production may already have taken a hit. In the long term, both U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliation may deter multinational companies from producing goods in China; some already are blaming the trade war for a slowdown in foreign direct investment. And by forcing China to shift from exports to investment in order to sustain growth, the trade war might push the country toward a less productive growth model.There may be a grim sort of logic to this approach. So far, China’s ascent in the 21st century has looked unstoppable, as it gobbled up one manufacturing industry after another, shouldered the U.S. aside as the world’s biggest exporter, and became the beating heart of an East Asian economic supercluster. In addition to threatening to relegate North America to the global economy’s periphery, this trend directly imperils U.S. military dominance, as economic and technological supremacy tends to translate into military supremacy.If Trump wants to slow China’s ascent as a superpower, a trade war might be an effective way to do it. If the harm to the U.S. is modest and the costs for China are severe and lasting, Trump might conclude that the former are acceptable losses. Geopolitical primacy, not maximum prosperity for Americans, might be the president’s true objective.