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The Case for Healthy U.S.‐China Agricultural Trade Relations despite Deglobalization Pressures

Wendong Zhang ()

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2021, vol. 43, issue 1, 225-247

Abstract: The COVID‐19 pandemic is crippling the global economy and heightening distrust and political disagreements among major countries. Furthermore, ongoing deglobalization efforts taken by firms and countries are fueling the rise of economic nationalism. A prime example is the possible decoupling of US–China economic and trade relations, which the ongoing trade war has already significantly disrupted. This paper analyzes the impacts of COVID‐19 on US agricultural exports to China, especially the added delays and uncertainty regarding China's food imports meeting the US–China phase one trade deal target. I present the views of US farmers and the general public toward China and argue that healthy US–China agricultural trade relations are not only critical for both countries but welcomed by US farmers. I also discuss the possible rise in nontariff barriers following the pandemic as well as trade policies that are increasingly intertwined with political tensions. Finally, I discuss how the US–China phase one trade deal could possibly lead to a more balanced bilateral agricultural trade portfolio with greater share of protein and retail food products.

Date: 2021
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