The Trade War and Beyond: 9 Things You Should Know about Economic and Geopolitical Affairs between the U.S. and China

What are the top takeaways from the current state of economic relations between the U.S. and China and the global implications of each country’s policy developments?

By Molly Gluck

Source: Reddit AMA IAmA

Kevin Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, member of the United Nations’ Committee for Development Policy, and director of the university-wide Global Development Policy Center took to Reddit AMA to shed light on the state of international economic affairs between the U.S. and China and the general state of the world economy.

Check out the top nine takeaways from his Reddit Q&A below where he discusses policy relations between the United States and China, the shifting trade and investment dynamics of each country, lessons for aspiring economists, and more.

Image source: Flickr

1) A major consequence of the trade war is the lack of confidence in U.S. policy and the broader impact on the international economic order.

A close analysis of Trump’s tariff war suggests that his policies are unlikely to achieve a balanced and more equal U.S. economy and could negatively impact the international economy.

However, one positive that Kevin takes away from the tariff war is how Trump is “globalizing the conversation across television screens, research papers, and Twitter feeds about the need for trade reform.”

2) The U.S. needs to take innovation and industrialization more seriously.

Kevin warns that the rising costs of Chinese manufacturing and labor alone will not necessarily bring a lot of manufacturing projects back to the U.S. He advises America to invest in more research and development facilities, and infrastructure for manufacturing and product development, in order for this to happen.

3) A West vs. China paradigm is not in our best interest.

The main goal when it comes to U.S. and China relations should be to reset the hostile relationship and to share and strive for common goals.

4) China has the perfect model for globalizing its clean energy at home.

Kevin points out that China’s solar and wind companies are among the best in the world — and there is over $1 trillion in potential overseas investment commitments in renewable energy under The Paris Agreement, according to new research.

5) China will never be a global leader in green technology until it prioritizes “greening” overseas investments.

If China acts on the investment and political opportunity to make its overseas investments environmentally conscious, Chinese trade and investment can be an engine for growth in the developing word.

6) The current President has brought more urgency to Kevin’s work.

Kevin’s main role is to bring evidence-based work to the current state of global policy discourse. Despite the importance of his job, Kevin explains that sometimes he just wants to Bang on the Drum All Day (which Michael Scott can relate to).

7) Economic policy experts of the future must branch out from classroom.

Kevin shares important advice for aspiring economic policy experts — highlighting the value of experienced-based learning opportunities outside the classroom and beyond U.S. borders.

8) MAGA, but not at the expense of the rest of the world.

Kevin weighs in on the “Make America Great Again” campaign, explaining that he wants to achieve this with the rest of the world, as opposed to at the expense of the rest of the world.

9) Herbie Hancock, a.k.a. the watermelon man, is the greatest living jazz musician alive.

In the “best answer on AMA ever,” Kevin explains that he has no affiliation to Gallagher the comedian who is known for smashing watermelons — but reveals that he is a huge fan of another watermelon man, Herbie Hancock.

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at @BUexperts. Follow Kevin Gallagher on Twitter at @KevinPGallagher. Follow the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at @BUPardeeSchool and the Global Development Policy Center at @GDPC_BU on Twitter.

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