The China-US Trade Relations Since the Mar-a-Lago Meeting: A Year in Review and What’s Ahead

Friday,Mar 23, 2018


CCG “China-US Economic Relations” Roundtable Series

The China-US Trade Relations Since the Mar-a-Lago Meeting:

A Year in Review and What’s Ahead

Featuring Former US Trade Representatives Michael Froman and Susan Schwab


The strong personal connection between President Xi and President Trump at their first summit in Florida last April led many to believe the trade rows between the world’s two largest economies could be tamed. Since then, however, the bilateral economic relations have been fraught with tensions. With the Trump administration’s avowed determination to cut down the bilateral trade deficit, protect American intellectual property, and manage the nuclear crisis in the Korean peninsula, the US has stepped up unilateral pressure on trade with China. President Trump’s high profile visit to Beijing and the $250 billion dollars of trade deals have failed to dissipate the trade war gloom. Instead, a series of trade probes, the labeling of China as strategic competitor, and the skepticism over the value of engagement coming out of Washington circles have only kindled the fear of a deterioration in the US-China trading relationship, if not a full-scale trade war, in a time of significant domestic transformations in both countries.


On March 23, the Center for China and Globalization will host a panel featuring two former US Trade Representative: Amb. Michael Froman and Amb. Susan Schwab, in a conversation with a group of CCG trade experts led by former vice minister of MOFCOM and chief negotiator for China’s WTO entrance Long Yongtu, and former Chinese Ambassador to the WTO Sun Zhengyu. They will discuss the drivers and outcomes of the Trump administration’s trade policy with China, assess the challenges to the bilateral economic relations, and forecast the chances of dialogue and cooperation despite the mounting tensions.


When:  1:30pm – 4:00pm, Friday March 23, 2018

Where: CCG Grand Conference Room

15th/F, West Wing, Hanwei Plaza, No. 7, Guanghua Road, Beijing



Speaker Bios:


Amb. Michael Froman


Michael Froman is a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and James R. Schlesinger distinguished professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. Froman served in President Obama’s cabinet as U.S. trade representative (2013–2017), where he played a critical role in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He was previously assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs.


Prior to joining the Obama administration, Froman served in a number of roles at Citigroup, including as chief executive officer of its international insurance business, chief operating officer of its alternative investments business, and head of its infrastructure investment business. He has also served during the Clinton administration in various roles at the U.S. Department of Treasury and the White House.


Froman holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a doctorate from Oxford University, and a law degree from Harvard Law School.


Amb. Susan C. Schwab


Susan C. Schwab is professor at the University of Maryland, and a strategic advisor to the law firm Mayer Brown, LLP.

Ambassador Schwab served as United States Trade Representative (2006-09), and as Deputy USTR from 2005-06.  At USTR, she concluded free trade agreements with Peru, Colombia Panama and South Korea; launched the initial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and actively engaged in the (ultimately failed) WTO Doha Round.  She initiated and was able to resolve  multiple trade disputes with China, Canada and others.

Previously, Schwab served as dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and president and CEO of the University System of Maryland Foundation.  In the private sector, she was director of corporate business development for Motorola, Inc., primarily involved in China and other Asia strategy.  Earlier in government, Schwab was assistant secretary of commerce and director-general of the US & Foreign Commercial Service, legislative director for Senator John C. Danforth (R-MO), a trade policy officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and an agricultural trade negotiator.

Schwab serves on the boards of Boeing, Caterpillar, FedEx, and Marriott.  She is on the board of trustees of The Conference Board, on the board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.

She holds a B.A. from Williams College, a master’s from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from The George Washington University.


About CCG

The Center for China and Globalization (CCG) is a leading Chinese independent think tank based in Beijing. It is dedicated to the study of Chinese public policy and globalization. Boasting a strong research team, it enjoys an impressive record of publications and events with broad public policy impact. CCG’s research agenda centers on China’s growing role in the world, drawing from issues of global migration, foreign relations, international trade and investment, homegrown MNCs and other topics pertaining to regional and global governance.


Two well-known scholars, Dr. Wang Huiyao and Dr. Miao Lu, founded the CCG in 2008. Today near 100 in-house researchers and staff serve this thinking hub with subsidiaries and divisions spanning across China including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Qingdao.


The think tank is co-chaired by three eminent Chinese: Long Yongtu, former Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and chief negotiator for China’s accession into the WTO; He Yafei, former Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ronnie Chen, Hong Kong real estate tycoon and philanthropist. The advisory board represents a constellation of prominent figures from academia, business and policy-making communities at home and abroad.


In 10 years, CCG has grown into the country’s premier independent think tank best known for its role in promoting China’s greater openness. In the “2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index” by the University of Pennsylvania Think Tank and Civil Society Program (TTCSP), CCG ranked 91st of the top think tanks worldwide, representing the first Chinese independent think tank to break into top 100 in history. According to the index, CCG is currently the highest ranked independent thinks in China.



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