Clark Packard, a lawyer for R Street Institute covering free trade and a former advisor to Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, told this writer that China has liberalized its economy the way it had promised since it first joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Packard and economist Keating both say that Trump’s hang-up with trade deficits is a red herring. That is, as countries prosper, they incur greater trade deficits because they are in a position to buy more goods and services from abroad. At the same time, that money is eventually repatriated back to the United States in form of capital investments.
“The U.S. should make its complaint with the World Trade Organization,” says Packard. “That is why the WTO was set up. There is a right way and a wrong way to resolve trade disputes: unilateral tariffs are the wrong way. The U.S. wins about 90% of cases against other countries at the WTO.”