The US-China Trade War: Technological Roots and WTO Responses

Global Solutions Journal 4, March 2019: 130-135

6 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2019 Last revised: 23 Jul 2019

See all articles by Dan Ciuriak

Dan Ciuriak

Ciuriak Consulting Inc.; Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI); C.D. Howe Institute; Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; BKP Development Research & Consulting GmbH

Date Written: February 6, 2019

Abstract

The outbreak in 2018 of a rapidly escalating trade war between the United States and China is a watershed event that is reshaping the global economic and political order. The main complaints made by the United States against China, while increasingly widely accepted and repeated, do not individually or collectively provide a compelling casus bellum. We must look to technological developments that induce strategic trade and investment policies to find a sufficiently valuable bone of contention to explain the conflict. By the same token, solutions framed around the US complaints will fail to restore trade peace. The necessary response is to reform the multilateral trade and investment framework to constrain the strategic behavior induced by the emerging data-driven economy and to channel the rivalry into constructive technological competition – for all parties.

Keywords: Trade Wars, Data-Driven Economy, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Strategic Trade Policy, Thucydides’ Trap, Geoeconomics, Geopolitics

JEL Classification: F13, F15, F51, F55, K21, K24

Suggested Citation

Ciuriak, Dan, The US-China Trade War: Technological Roots and WTO Responses (February 6, 2019). Global Solutions Journal 4, March 2019: 130-135, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3330392 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3330392

Dan Ciuriak (Contact Author)

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