Trade agreements can affect the types of goods being

traded and they can redirect trade toward one country, away

from others. They cannot directly affect any country’s worldwide current account balance. A count

ry that saves less than it invests will have to borrow foreign funds to import foreign goods to make up that difference.

There are two ways to reduce the US trade deficit. A serious recession would reduce investme

nt, but nobody advocates that as a strategy. The only other path is to change the US financial and gove

rnment system to encourage increased savings. China has almost nothing to do with it.

Ironically, the disputes between the US and China center around both nations’ legitimate desires to

protect some current low-skilled jobs, or at least to allow an easier transition to new jobs and industries.

US administration’s economic policy has rightly focused on the need to

retain jobs for working-class people in the US. And, China’s companies that export to the U

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