Washington Post

China trade deal won't be good for most Americans

China's vice premier, Liu He, and president of United Stats, Donald Trump, shaking hands. Foto: AP

President Donald Trump's phase one trade deal with China has been described as something between a "betrayal of American workers" and a welcome "new chapter in U.S.-China relations" that will "create a better environment for U.S. exporters and investors." The fact that the first quote comes from Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, a stalwart critic of unbalanced trade deals, and the second from the pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce should give you a sense of who is perceived to win from the deal.

I suspect they're both right. From the perspective of working Americans who've been heretofore hurt by our trade policies, it's likely to be a bad deal, as it's mostly repackaging already-agreed-upon safeguards for U.S. manufacturers and banks that want to offshore operations to China. In a nod to workers and farmers, there are numerical targets for higher U.S. exports, but I'm highly skeptical they'll be achieved, especially given the inadequate enforcement measures in the deal (see Chapter 7). The deal says virtually nothing new about the key determinants of fairer trade: currency misalignment, labor and human rights, food and product safety, and environmental standards...

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