Face the nation and face the reality

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned China in an interview by saying that the patience of US business was wearing thin and American companies deserved a predictable environment and a level playing field. According to the US Deputy, there was a strong appetite among US businesses to make the relationship work. She praised some actions of the Chinese government as positive, while stressed that the rhetoric should match with the situation on the ground. US firms face new challenges, among them unexplained large fines, raids on businesses and changes to a counterespionage law, that narrowed space for managers and threatens businesses survival in the world’s second largest economy. Raimondo acknowledged the slowdown in the Chinese economy and emphasized the need for transparency and market-orientedness. Interestingly, she perceived Chinese trade regulations somewhat more arbitrary and challenged.

The two biggest economies in the world used to be each other’s largest trade partners over the past decades, now turned into the greatest adversaries in recent years. Although there had been anti-China sentiments because of growing Chinese stacks in the US stock market, real states and other sectors of the US economy. That scrimmage ignited into full fledged tussle by the former US President Donald J Trump after landing White House in early 2017. The Trump administration not only banned Chinese investment and Chinese Tech giants in its country but imposed heavy tariffs on import of Chinese goods to the United States. That attracted a tit-for-tat response from Beijing and set the stage for a large-scale trade war between the two leading economies in the world. According to analysts, the policy of sanctions, restrictions and taxation caused serious damage to China and adversely affected the US economy as well, because American businesses were heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturers and low cost labour.

During this time, Washington traded with neighboring Canada, Mexico and Europe, while Beijing increased its focus in neighbourhood South and Southeast Asia. Recently, the Biden administration has brought some leniency in the US trade policy toward China to support the deteriorating domestic economy and to counterbalance the worst effect of the ever increasing global energy crisis. Although, Chinese economy is experiencing the worst slowdown in history, yet Chinese strategists had shown a cold shoulder to Secretary Gina Raimondo during his recent visit to Beijing. As of now, Chinese authorities enjoy the weakness of the Biden administration and intend to use it to their advantage. Although American officials face the nation by accepting their helplessness, they must face reality by acknowledging the mistaken strategy of their predecessors.