China became the world’s top exporter by doing the exact opposite of what Trump wants the US to do

The study authors calculate that this effect—cheaper Chinese imports, and a wider variety of them—accounted for most of that 7.6% drop in prices of manufactured goods in the US. China’s WTO entry made only a minor difference: It led to the US making preferential tariffs for Chinese goods permanent, thus removing the risk that they wouldn’t be renewed each year. That gave more certainty to Chinese exporters so they could plan longer-term.

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