Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cry Havoc, and slip loose the dogs of (trade) war!

The WSJ reported that the Trump administration is considering a new tactic in managing its trade relationship with China. Here is the Bloomberg recap for those without a WSJ subscription:
Under the plan, the commerce secretary would designate the practice of currency manipulation as an unfair subsidy when employed by any country, instead of singling out China, the newspaper reported. American companies could then bring anti-subsidy actions to the U.S. Commerce Department against China or other countries, it said.

The discussions are part of a strategy being pursued by the White House’s new National Trade Council to balance the goals of challenging China on certain policies while keeping broader relations on an even keel, the paper said. The Trump administration would avoid, at least for now, making claims about whether China is manipulating its currency, it said.
While such an approach may seem clever, it has the risk of sideswiping American relations with a whole host of other countries other than China. As well, the imposition of countervailing duties is subject to a challenge under WTO rules.

The full post can be found at our new site here.

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