News analysis

Rise of Chinese consumer redefining economic ties

People walk through a shopping area in Shanghai, on May 10, 2019. PHOTO: AFP
PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - Chinese consumers for the first time last year bought more Cadillacs than Americans did, helping drive profits at General Motors. And though the designs for those Cadillacs may have been drafted in Detroit, nearly all of the luxury cars were assembled in China by some of GM's nearly 60,000 local workers.

This growing dynamic - of American firms serving Chinese consumers with products made in China - marks a shift in global trade that could pose a significant challenge to President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2019, with the headline 'Rise of Chinese consumer redefining economic ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe