A year ago, I argued in these pages that the US-China trade war is about technology rather than trade, and about contrasting models of economic governance and technological innovation - China's of state-driven industrial policy versus the US' of market-led private entrepreneurship. Sure enough, bilateral trade negotiations have now stalled precisely over this divide. A major point of contention is China's subsidies for state-owned enterprises (SOE) in targeted high-tech sectors. This strategy has also been followed by European countries with decidedly unimpressive results, particularly in France.
The most notable (and rare) success story, the European multi-country consortium Airbus, has been embroiled in decades-long World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes with the US-owned Boeing over "illegal state subsidies".