The enigma of Trump’s China policy

China-bashing is one of the most enduring features of Donald Trump’s policy platform–as we know from last year’s viral  “Chay-na! Chay-na! Chay-na!” montage.  On Twitter, Trump rails about China more frequently than Mexico or even ISIS.

And so it was no surprise that talk about getting tough with Beijing featured prominently when Trump unveiled his economic agenda Monday.

In a speech delivered before the Detroit Economic Club Trump declared “trade enforcement with China” to be “at the center of my plan,” and promised that by standing up to China he would “return millions of jobs into our country.”  He denounced China for manipulating its currency, called for stronger protection of US intellectual property and reiterated his call for the US to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The usual fare. But what was surprising (at least to me) is that for all the times Trump has boasted about “getting tough” with China, so far he’s said practically nothing about how he’d actually do that. Continue reading “The enigma of Trump’s China policy”