06 May 2019

This is not a trade war, it is a struggle for technological and geo-strategic dominance


In many advanced countries, the attitude towards US trade measures against China seems to be: Trump is wrong in using blunt tools, but he is right in pointing to a real problem. But what exactly is the problem?

In this contribution to CESifo Forum 01/2019 (Spring): The US ­China trade war, Daniel Gros argues that it is difficult to find a rationale for a US-China trade war given that the current account surplus of China has disappeared and suggests that at the core of many complaints is not trade, but FDI and the situation ‘behind the border’, in the Chinese market.

Download the document here.