President Donald Trump ran for office pledging to rewrite the U.S. economic relationship with China, which he blamed for hollowing out America’s manufacturing base and impoverishing its workers. His four years in the White House have shown limited impact on the metrics he laid out.
American companies cite much the same concerns — and the same growth objectives — with regard to China today as they did when Trump took office. The unprecedented trade war he launched, breaking Republican free-trade orthodoxy along the way, ended up costing American factory jobs, not creating them, economists say. The state support for Chinese enterprises that Trump pledged to confront remains intact.
Trump’s term has, however, had a notable impact on American attitudes toward China. In time, that could prove the dynamic that affects economic ties in ways the current president has struggled to achieve. And it underscores that Washington’s China policy is forever changed, regardless of who wins the Nov. 3 election.
The following is a look at the metrics Trump laid out for overhauling the economic relationship with China, and how they’ve panned out during his administration.