Monday, July 15, 2024

Decoding the Global Impact: U.S. Trade Policies vs. China’s Clean Energy Advancements


Guest Opinion: Who is really betting against America?

At a time when China is advancing the cause for a cleaner world through the provision of quality electric vehicles (EVs) to consumers worldwide, one can’t help but question the actions of the United States. Rather than acknowledging this progress, the U.S. chooses instead to point fingers at China, overlooking the significant strides made towards global sustainability.

During her recent visit to China, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen criticized Beijing’s industrial policies, suggesting they pose a threat to the global economy due to “overcapacity.” This perspective, however, fails to recognize the fundamental principles of a market economy where innovation, efficient manufacturing, and quality offerings have propelled China’s clean sector to the forefront. This isn’t merely about government subsidies. There’s a significant demand for these clean products, not only from developing nations but also from advanced economies like the U.S., as they strive for greener growth.

As China works toward making the world cleaner, the United States seems to be caught up in nurturing protectionist measures and non-market practices. The shift from a champion of free trade to adopting policies such as the “America First” and “Buy America” agendas showcases a clear move towards protectionism. This is evident in the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, where the U.S. has earmarked substantial subsidies to encourage the domestic production of advanced semiconductors. Such actions don’t just impact perceived competitors but also alienate allies, contributing to a disruption of international trade norms previously upheld by the U.S.

With the U.S. stepping back from leading a functional multilateral trading system, the ripple effects are felt worldwide, as other countries may lose confidence and turn inward. This could potentially lead to the crumbling of the entire system. The U.S. proclaims its relationship with China as “competitive when it should be,” but its approach to competition seems to focus less on self-improvement and more on hindering its competitors.

From imposing arbitrary restrictions on companies like Huawei to attempting control over apps like TikTok, the U.S. is displaying a preference for tactical overreach rather than fair competition. These actions, justified by national security concerns without convincing evidence, highlight a policy approach better described as “double standards when it should be.”

Meanwhile, the United States, once celebrated as a beacon of hope for immigrants, has shown a notable change in stance towards Chinese scientists and scholars. Many have faced harassment, interrogation, or deportation without clear justification, deterring not only the brightest minds from China but also talented individuals from other countries. This trend threatens to diminish the influx of talent, innovation, and investment that the U.S. has historically benefitted from, potentially harming its own interests in the long run.

The U.S. economy is also grappling with challenges stemming from its reliance on quantitative easing and the aftermath of substantial interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. This has led to capital outflows and exchange rate volatility in emerging markets, compounded by the U.S.’s growing debt crisis, with the federal government’s debt exceeding $34 trillion. This ticking time bomb could have dire consequences for both the U.S. and the global economy.

It’s ironic to consider President Biden’s assertion that betting against America has never been a good strategy, as it seems the current trajectory of U.S. policies is indeed betting against its own interests. Instead of casting blame elsewhere, it’s imperative for the United States to introspect and recalibrate its economic and foreign policies towards more sustainable and cohesive strategies.

Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett is a seasoned business journalist with over a decade of experience covering the global economy, finance, and corporate strategies. With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Journalism from Columbia University, Alexandra has built a reputation for her insightful analysis and ability to break down complex economic trends into understandable narratives. Prior to joining our team, she worked for major financial publications in New York and London. Alexandra specializes in mergers and acquisitions, market trends, and economic

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