Economy has always been a major topic for U.S. presidential elections, particularly so for this year’s election. China has been blamed for U.S. economic problems more times than in any other of the six presidential races after the Cold War.
The rising protectionism in the United States is the biggest obstacle to the establishment of fair China-U.S. trade and economic relations. For example, the United States has banned exports of high-tech and dual-use products to China, exacerbating bilateral trade imbalance.
The 2012 U.S. presidential race has three noteworthy points indicating that no matter who is elected president, the country is highly likely to continue its confrontational economic and trade policy toward China.
First, protectionism may take bigger part in the trade policy of the United States no matter who wins the presidential election. Exports account for 30 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP), and 15 percent of that of the United States. As China is much more dependent on exports than the United States, the White House is highly likely to continue tough trade policies against China.
Second, the U.S. government and public are most concerned about China’s growing economic strength when it comes to China-U.S. relations. A poll on China policies published by Pew Research Center on Sept. 18 showed that more than 70 percent of Americans consider the large amount of American debts held by China, the U.S. trade deficit with China, and U.S. investment in China to be the most worrying problems.