A Muscular Multilateralism to Engage China on Trade

September 22, 2013

Arvind Subramanian testified before the Joint Economic Committee at a hearing titled “Manufacturing in the USA: How Trade Policy Offshores Jobs” on September 21, 2011. Subramanian’s testimony focused on the US-China trade relationship.

With China’s growing size, the balance of negotiating power is shifting toward China. The key argument for multilateralism is that there will be enough combined heft among China’s trading partners such that negotiating with China can be more balanced. This is particularly true in the case of China’s exchange rate, where a number of emerging market economies have concerns similar to those of the United States. For example, emerging market countries such as Brazil, India, Turkey, Korea, Mexico, Vietnam and Bangladesh, feel the adverse effects of China’s exchange rate policy even more so than the United States because they compete more closely with China than the United States and Europe, whose source of comparative advantage is very different from China's.

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