“Blaming China for US manufacturing woes is selling snake oil,” said Phil Levy, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a panelist at “Protectionism Today,” held recently at Columbia University.
He added: “Pledging that jobs will return is dangling false promises.”
Those sentiments, and variations thereof, were repeated frequently by the experts featured on the panel, which was cosponsored by the Chazen Institute for Global Business.
A broader “obsession with China is at the heart of Trump’s thinking” about trade, said Jagdish Bhagwati, a Columbia University professor of economics, law and international affairs and moderator of the panel. As proof, Levy reminded the audience that Trump likely chose several close advisors because of their stated antipathy toward China, including Peter Navarro, head of the White House National Trade Council, and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.