Trump maintains he keeps this as a ‘policy option’
Chinese Foreign Ministry officials issued a statement on Friday dismissing threats of US decoupling, saying such a move would not be realistic nor particularly wise. President Trump has repeatedly suggested this remains an option that he has for policy.
As the two largest economies in the world, and two enormous trading partners to one another, totally disconnecting the US economy from the Chinese, and vice versa, really does seem unrealistic, threatening to do untold damage to the global economy if it is even attempted.
Chinese comments may sound familiar because they almost perfectly mirror those of President Trump’s top advisers, who say this isn’t a real option, despite Trump constantly making reference to it and threatening it.
And yet this is entirely in keeping with Trump’s limited grasp of how foreign commerce works, which already led to one ugly trade war between the US and China, and which the president continues to believe he can “win” by simply severing trade ties with America’s largest partners on the grounds that they are “unfair.”
The first trade war with China, and the harm it did to US farmers, is already a preview of why economic isolationism simply isn’t a viable strategy. Trump keeps referring to it as an option, but it likely only remains so because he fails to appreciate what damage it would truly do.