US-China techno trade war

This trade war is about technology

The US and China are involved in a grim battle for trade and technological dominance. At its core, this is a battle between two economic models: a state-driven industrial policy or private sector-driven entrepreneurship model.

The ongoing US-China trade war, at its deepest and most consequential, is a struggle over different visions of economic governance and models of technological innovation in a globalising world economy.

On the surface there appear to be many similarities between the positions of the world's two largest economies. Both the Donald Trump and Xi Jinping administrations believe in using state power to manage trade in the interests of particular producers, rather than letting consumers determine the cross-border flow of goods and services, as in a normal market economy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2018, with the headline 'This trade war is about technology'. Print Edition | Subscribe