As Brookings Institution economist David Dollar pointed out, the United States cannot accomplish this policing alone. Frustrated by U.S. technological restrictions, China could turn to other advanced countries — Japan, Germany, Canada, South Korea, France — for similar technologies. We do not hold a monopoly on advanced technologies. To be effective, we need a global coalition that will cooperate in curbing abuses. (Most routine technologies, it’s worth noting, should be available on normal commercial terms.)
The trouble is that Trump’s bombastic assaults against our traditional trading partners — and military allies — virtually guarantee that the essential cooperation will be difficult, if not impossible, to attain. “Trump’s focus on the trade deficit is causing specific harms to American national security, including the distortion of U.S. [foreign] alliance relationships and loss of leverage against China,” wrote Derek Scissors of the conservative American Enterprise Institute.