Now that more people are paying attention to China and our trade situation, it's a fair question to ask what was done before...

Posted By: Ma'ake
Date: Monday 3 June 2019, at 09:42 pm
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The answer is a substantial amount.

When China was admitted to the WTO, the expectation was that they would open their markets and participate like most other nations in international trade. That didn't happen.

So, under GWB, the Trans Pacific Partnership was created, and just about every nation in the Pacific rim was invited, except China. The TPP was continued under Obama as a way to apply pressure to China to conform to international expectations, and they certainly made progress.

It's unrealistic to try and hold a growing economy of 1.6 billion people down, and both TPP nations and the Chinese government agreed they needed to become less of an export driven, but domestically closed economy, and the % of their GDP for domestic consumption has increased substantially.

Is China where they need to be? No, but steady progress was being made.

Now we've withdrawn from the TPP, and China's stature has by default risen as Trump has signaled America is withdrawing from international organizations, made lots of threats, alienated many allies, while China has engaged in extensive economic outreach, not just in the Asian-Pacific area, but also extensively in Latin America.

In a recent security conference in Japan where the US is (legitimately) warning nations in the Asian-Pacific region about Chinese telecom giant Huawei being a security threat, the reaction to the US message has been lukewarm, as nations now view the US with suspicion as well.

This change of attitudes to more of an "even" view of China and the US both as nations not to be trusted, reveals how much things have changed in a very short period of time. If our credibility had eroded like this under Obama, Republicans would be going nuts right now.
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