The Logic and Way Forward of US-China Trade War

On November 22, 2018, the 6th Daohe Forum on “Trends of US-China Trade War” was successfully held in Beijing. Keynote speakers include Professor YANG Guohua from Tsinghua University Law School (former Deputy Director-General of Department of Treaty and Law of Ministry of Commerce) and Mr. XU Xiaoqing, former Director-General of the Department of the Rural Economic Research at the Development Research Center (DRC). Senior executives and government affairs professionals from select foreign companies and government officials attended the Forum. Speakers and participants were engaged in active discussions on the policy intents of both governments, how the trade frictions and US-China relations will evolve, and how MNCs could get prepared for the possible opportunities and challenges.

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Leveraging his extensive experience in China’s trade policy development, Professor YANG shared unique insights with the participants. He first reviewed the escalation of US-China trade frictions and interpreted the two countries’ official documents, and then shared his analysis on four key questions – whether China and the US can reach an agreement to end the trade war, whether President Donald Trump is the main cause of the trade frictions, what the new international trade order will look like in the post-WTO era, and how China can achieve sustainable development through continued reform and opening-up.

Mr. XU Xiaoqing used agriculture as an example to share his views on the US-China trade war. As a senior expert who participated in the bilateral agriculture negotiations between China and WTO members during China's process of accession to WTO, Mr. XU shared his in-depth analysis of the potential impact of the trade war on both sides in the agriculture area.

Representatives from multinational companies were actively engaged in the discussion and shared their perspectives on the trends of the US-China trade war and US-China relations as well as the challenges that the companies were facing. Participants commented that the valuable sharing and thought collision helped them gain new and higher-level perspectives on the complicated issues around trade war.