The proposed US Strategic Competition Act and Endless Frontier Act are more “sound and fury signifying nothing” playing out for a domestic political agenda, rather than genuine attempts to address the loss of American competitiveness. They target China and may cause a retreat from globalisation and a return to the Cold War bipolar trading system.
While there are some legitimate issues between America and China, the tone of the act is anti-Chinese. The US is gradually reducing its global supply-chain reliance on China.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken once described China-US relations as “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be”. But this act has made it seem like Washington has abandoned “collaborative when it can be”. The act is pushing China-US relations further towards extreme competition and confrontation.
The trend toward greater global openness appears to have peaked in 2008 as governments moved to a “buy local” economic policy to promote domestic production. These policies restricted imports through tariffs, quotas, other trade barriers, and sometimes, such as in the case of Nigeria, border closures. These protectionist policies, however, have the effect of limiting the scope for global trade-induced creation of wealth, as the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods in America are carried by the American consumer, because in many cases there is no domestic competitor in America that can supply the latest Apple iPhone.