Trade relations between the world's two largest economies – the United States and China – stand to impact the entire global economy and in recent months tensions have been high. In accordance with the "America First" policy, the Trump Administration levied tariffs against China in the form of a 25% import tax on steel and 10% on aluminum. China, the world's largest steel exporter, retaliated with its own tariffs on $3 billion worth of American goods. As tensions escalate, the list of targeted companies and sectors grows, affecting industries from solar technology to agriculture to machinery. The two heavyweights said they seek a fair agreement on outstanding issues, including trade deficits, intellectual property rights, and foreign ownership matters, but bilateral negotiations have yet to bear fruit. Both countries have filed suits with the World Trade Organization (WTO). What ramifications could this global trade dispute have on the future of the WTO and the rules-based trading system?
David Dollar, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center, The Brookings Institution
Shang-Jin Wei, Professor of Chinese Business and Economy, Columbia University
Stephen A. Myrow, Managing Partner, Beacon Policy Advisers LLC