At the same time, China and the United States, as the two leading trading nations, share responsibility for the current state of global trade and finance and the unsettled post–World War II order in the Asia-Pacific. China’s absorption into the American-led economic orbit has set the stage for the next phase of development in the twenty-first century. But while in the past the client economies of the United States were small, China today is a giant and growing satellite. Despite growing commercial ties, the bilateral economic relationship has become increasingly complex and often fraught with tension. From the U.S. perspective, many trade tensions stem from China’s incomplete transition to a free market economy. While China has significantly liberalized it’s economic and trade regimes over the past three decades, it continues to maintain (or has recently imposed) a number of state-directed policies that appear to distort trade and investment flows. Many U.S. policy makers argue that such policies negatively impact U.S. economic interests and have contributed to U.S. job losses.
The choice of the United States on how to address commercial and trade disputes with China will be crucial, as the U.S. and China are the world's two largest economies, and the relations between them are crucial to the future development of the world economy. The upcoming administration of President Donald Trump seems to be against trade and cooperation with China, and this might have significant consequences on their economies and the global economy.