Coronavirus have a “crown-like” structure, image via the Ecohealth Alliance
Coronavirus Checks China’s Blockchain Ambitions
James Cooper is a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego.
It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of non-reciprocal trade. American nuts are to be sold en masse to the Chinese as part of the extra $200 billion worth of extra U.S. goods that the mainland promised to purchase – $40 billion of that from U.S. agricultural producers. At least that was what the new trade deal between China and the United States (so-called “Phase I”) provided for, in part.
Zhu Min, Chairman of China’s National Institute of Financial Research, looked relaxed at the Tradeshift Reserve Café on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in January, as he explained that Phase I would result in trade distortion. In agreeing to buy more U.S. agricultural goods than it needs, China has to divert its consumption of these agricultural goods away from other countries. Goodbye nuts from Australia, New Zealand and Brazil; hello nuts from California and Georgia. China agreed to cut tariffs on more than 17,000 products it imports from the United States. It would also do more to protect the intellectual property rights of U.S. corporations. The trade war was over, at least until Phase II negotiations would start later in 2020.
And then suddenly, due to the Coronavirus, China is closing up shop. Just as the Phase I agreement on trade was de-escalating the seemingly endless rounds of tariffs and retaliatory tariffs, the virus was spreading around Wuhan and beyond Hubei province. The day Min spoke in Davos, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus,