US – China Stuff

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Back in the day, advanced economies like the US had more clout, more barganing power. These “core” countries were more autonomous than “peripheral” or “semi-peripheral” places like China.

Now that situation is reversed. In many ways China is now a core country, and the US produces very little, as trade deficits mount. The US does grow most of its staple foods, but a quick trip to Walmart reveals that the majority of household products are made in China.

Compared to the US, China is more self-sufficient. Being a much older civilization, it has built-in mechanisms for overcoming interruptions of trade.

China does not really need the US. The portion of China’s trade with the US is falling, and with other parts of the world it’s rising. I live in China and rarely see American products sold here (unless we consider Apple cell phones… that are made in…. China).

Trump tweeted this nonetheless:

“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”

It’s probably true as Julian Assange speculated, that such a move would result in Trump being “deposed immediately.”

Of course, both a trade embargo and ousting a president are not decisions made on this level of open, formal politics. Controllers above formal government will decide, or not, to play chess in this way. So we have back-and-forth tweeting between two front men (on different teams but in the same league, so really they’re on the same team).

Meantime, it is simply delusional to think that an American economic and political regime would survive a cut-off of trade with China. China would survive it, though.

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