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  • The China-U.S. Trade War and Future Economic Relations

The China-U.S. Trade War and Future Economic Relations

Lawrence J. Lau

English , 2018/12 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Economics, China-U.S. Relations

229 x 152 x 24 mm , 216pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-988-237-112-5

  • US$39.00

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The relation between China and the United States is arguably the most important bilateral relation in the world today. The U.S. and China are respectively the largest and the second largest economies in the world. They are also respectively the largest and the second largest trading nations in the world as well as each other’s most important trading partner. If China and the U.S. work together as partners towards a common goal, many things are possible. However, there exist significant friction and potential conflict in their economic relations. The large and persistent U.S.-China bilateral trade deficit is one of the problems.

It is essential to know the true state of the China-U.S. trade balance before effective solutions can be devised to narrow the trade surplus or deficit. The impacts and potential impacts of the 2018 trade war between China and the U.S. on the two economies are analysed and discussed. The longterm forces that underlie the economic relations between the two countries beyond the 2018 trade war are examined. In this connection, how a “new type of major-power relation” between the two countries can help to keep the competition friendly and avert a war between them is explored.


Lawrence J. Lau’s timely The China-U.S. Trade War and Future Economic Relations is full of careful analysis, penetrating insight and helpful suggestions from the world’s preeminent economist on this relationship.

—Michael J. Boskin
Tully M. Friedman Professor of Economics, Stanford University
Former Chair, U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers


This sober and systematic study of U.S.-China trade relations and of technological development in the two countries is particularly timely. Lawrence Lau is one of the world’s foremost economists working on these issues.

—Dwight H. Perkins
Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus
Former Chair, Department of Economics, Harvard University


This is a timely and penetrating analysis of the China-U.S. trade and economic relations, from its origins to its impacts and to a way forward.

—Yingyi Qian
Chairman of the Council, Westlake University
Former Dean, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University
Counsellor of the State Council, People’s Republic of China

Lawrence Lau’s book on the current U.S.-China trade war is insightful, balanced and comprehensive; rich in data on trade, investment, science and technology. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to get past the headlines.

—A. Michael Spence
Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (2001)
Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University


Lawrence Lau brings light in the form of rigorous honest fact-based economic analysis to a subject where most of the discussion has been heated bluster, false claims, and political rhetoric.

—Lawrence H. Summers
Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Former President, Harvard University


There is no topic more important, or more timely, or more urgent, than the China-U.S. trade war. Professor Lau is the ideal person to write about the implications of the China-U.S. trade war and the proposed resolution.

—Tung Chee-Hwa
Vice-Chairman, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee
Chairman, China-U.S. Exchange Foundation


The history of Sino-American relations, to a great extent, has been a shared history. Lawrence Lau’s timely and penetrating study will tell us it is still in best interest for both countries if they continue to pursue a shared journey and destination instead of parting ways.

—Xu Guoqi
Kerry Group Professor in Globalization History, The University of Hong Kong
Author of Chinese and Americans: A Shared History


This beautifully composed book uses nontechnical language to unravel the intricacies of the 2018 U.S.-China trade war, together with its long-term impact. I learned a lot from reading it.

—Chen-Ning Yang
Nobel Laureate in Physics (1957)

Professor Lawrence J. Lau received his B.S. degree (with Great Distinction) in Physics from Stanford University in 1964 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and 1969 respectively. He joined the faculty of the Department of Economics at Stanford University in 1966, becoming Professor of Economics in 1976 and the first Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Economic Development at Stanford University in 1992. From 1992 to 1996, he served as a Co-Director of the Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, and from 1997 to 1999, as the Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He became Kwoh-Ting Li Professor in Economic Development, Emeritus, upon his retirement from Stanford University in 2006. From 2004 to 2010, Professor Lau served as Vice-Chancellor (President) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2007, Professor Lau has been serving as Ralph and Claire Landau Professor of Economics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. From September 2010 to September 2014, he served as Chairman of CIC International (Hong Kong) Co., Limited.

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