May last year Robert Lighthizer was sworn in as US trade representative. He is the key person to watch when a trade war between China and the US is developing, says leading economist Arthur Kroeber, author of China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know®, in the South China Morning Post.
The South China Morning Post:
After scant progress was made in the first round of Comprehensive Economic Dialogue with Beijing in July – aimed at resolving trade issues – the US suspended the high-level talks.
Last month, Lighthizer said there had been no effective result from senior-level dialogue between the two countries, and now the Trump administration is taking serious aim at the trade deficit with China, and considering further action to restrict Chinese involvement in its hi-tech sector. China’s trade surplus with the United States rose 8.6 per cent last year to a record high of US$275.8 billion, according to official Chinese data.
“The combative Lighthizer is now firmly in control of the international trade and economics agenda,” said Arthur Kroeber, a founding partner with Gavekal Dragonomics.
“It was only in the second half of last year that the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer wrested trade policy from more accommodating figures like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and economic adviser Gary Cohn,” Kroeber said, describing Lighthizer as an “old trade warrior who cut his teeth battling Japan in the 1980s”.
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