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Title: Playing the Trump Card: A Historical Contextualization of Trump’s Trade War using Historical Sino-American Trade Legislation
Authors: Xi, Christopher
Advisors: Bian, He
Department: History
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the Trade Act of 1974 in conjunction with the evolution of Sino-American relations and the underlying role of ideological differences between the two countries. President Donald Trump’s recent trade war with China called upon seldom-used legacy trade bills originating from the Kennedy and Nixon eras. The current trade war not only reflects Trump’s aggressive, “America first” foreign policy, but it also it represents a weaponization of existing historical pieces of trade legislation as well as exploiting loopholes and ambiguities within in international trade frameworks, such as the World Trade Organization. When examining the contents of these trade policies and the geopolitical environments they were influenced by, there is a relationship between ideology and policy, especially in the Communist era in which they were both drafted. Trump’s trade policy is a modern-day reflection of that very connection. His nationalist platform exacerbates conflict between America and China, viewed by America as a global other, and borrows justification from trade policies dating back to the Kennedy and Nixon administrations, during which anti-Communist and anti-China sentiment were arguably at its peak.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History, 1926-2020

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