China’s authoritarianism is steadily consuming the previously democratic Hong Kong trading hub.
It has become fashionable to talk about the China shock – the disruption to the international trading system caused by China’s entry. But what, exactly, is it, and is there anything that can reasonably be done to overcome it?, asks Joe Zammit-Lucia.
For decades, the international trading system was perceived to be working well. There was little public discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the system. Any discussion tended to be restricted to the specialist world of macro-economists and international trade lawyers. Much of it was in the form of impenetrable technical texts that were not the stuff of headlines.
All that changed with the emergence of Donald Trump onto the US political scene and the subsequent arrival of President Trump in the White House. He put trade (as well as immigration), front and centre of the political debate by focusing on America’s growing trade deficit and presenting it as evidence of an America