CWR > Volume 9(2); 2023 > Prof. Malawer’s US-China Trade Commentary
Research Article
Published online: September 1, 2023

US-China Trade Relations: Tectonic Changes and Political Risk in the Global System – National Security, Industrial Policy, and Protectionism

Stuart S. Malawer
George Mason University
3351 Fairfax Dr., MS 3B1, Arlington, Virginia 22201 USA
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There has been a tectonic shift in the trade relationship between the United States (US) and China. This can be seen in the passage of new US legislation, recent US trade restrictions on exports and investment transactions with China, and worsening US relations with the World Trade Organization (WTO), particularly with its dispute resolution system. The Trump administration initiated a haphazard tariff and trade war with China, reversing decades of US trade policy pursuant to its long-standing stances of supporting free trade. To the dismay of many in the trade community within the US and globally, the trade actions by President Trump have been significantly extended and broadened by the Biden administration in its first two years, despite the expectation that it would reverse many of Trump’s policies. In this article, I present seven observations concerning President Trump’s and President Biden’s trade policies.

Keywords : Biden and Trump, US–China Trade, National Security, US Legislative Measures, Political Risk Analysis and Geopolitics, Globalization

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