Katie Deal , Washington Analyst,
U.S. Equity Division
Tensions mount over key issues in wake of the pandemic.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, renewed tensions between the U.S. and China have complicated the delicate détente that both countries reached through the tenuous phase I trade agreement—which halted the pattern of escalating tariffs and offered some incremental reforms to Chinese market practices.
With the economic fallout caused by COVID‑19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, the Trump administration lost its ability to campaign on an expanding economy and record unemployment. Instead, the White House and the Republican Party have found an effective political target in China.
Though the Trump administration has viewed China as a “strategic adversary” throughout its tenure, its party now sees “tough on China” rhetoric as a key strategy to keep voters committed to the president. Consequently, investors are now reconsidering the security of the phase I trade deal—and wondering what other regulations could come next.
Facing a Multi-front Battle in an Increasingly Protectionist World
The Trump administration recently took actions across three key policy areas related to China: critical technology, national security, and economic protectionism.
Critical technology, a long‑standing concern in the U.S.‑China relationship, has garnered renewed attention. Given competition in cutting‑edge technologies like 5G, the U.S. has pursued policies that will both protect and incentivize next‑generation industrial dominance while addressing crucial national security concerns.
“Reshoring” of Supply Chains Gains Traction
U.S. Moves Could Result in Delisting of Some Companies
More Friction on the Horizon
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