Asia does not do free trade, they pursue national strategies. China is first among them.
We are in a global competition of national interests, but are losing because our policy leaders don’t even know the game we are in.
Richard McCormack at Manufacturing & Technology News (subscription required) reports that China’s high speed rail manufacturing companies, that make up the whole supply chain, have
“completely displaced foreign firms from the fast-growing Chinese market, due to a focused national industrial policy and an aggressive construction program over the past decade. The result: China’s high-speed rail equipment manufacturers are now the dominant suppliers around the globe.”
“With its strategy of introduction, digestion, absorption and innovation, China’s domestic industry is now a roaring success, according to a report in the January 29, 2015 edition of China Daily.”
Alexander Hamilton crafted the first US industrial strategy in his “Report on Manufactures” in 1791. We used national strategy to build our own industrial supply chains throughout the 1800’s and early 1900’s to displace Britain as the world economic superpower. Germany also used national strategy to build itself into a global power/threat after its 1870 reunification. Ditto post-World War II Japan and modern China.
We have lost the ability to engage in economic strategy in our national interest to build our capabilities and superiority. Instead, we do trade negotiations.