Retreat or engage in a period of extraordinary suspicion?

The United States and other Western countries have steadily escalated long-simmering trade tensions between their economies and those of China. What began as complaints over trade surpluses, intellectual property theft, and improper subsidizations, is steadily growing into full-scale suspicion that trade with Chinese companies represents an existential threat to free economies. President Trump and members of the U.S. Congress from both political parties are seemingly bidding to out compete each other on who can sound the toughest against China.

Examples of this abound, but perhaps reached their highest level on 23 August 2019 when President Trump tweeted, "Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing….your companies HOME and making your products in the USA." (emphasis added by the Executive). As preposterous as that would be as an actual order, it exemplifies the rhetorical fever-pitched battle Chinese companies currently face.

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