US-China trade decoupling – what are the implications?

22 February 2021


New Chamber of Commerce report sheds light on major global trade issue

Over four decades, aspects of China and America’s economies have become inextricably linked, tied together through complex global supply chains. 

However, as has been widely reported, the last few years have witnessed the beginnings of a significant “decoupling” of this relationship in some high-profile sectors, notably telecoms and semiconductors, but also in others, driven in part by national security and political concerns. 

Though the advent of a new administration in Washington appears to herald the return of a more co-operative, consensus-building approach to other aspects global engagement, it’s unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon – and in fact, some are predicting that further decoupling is likely, even inevitable.

According to the authors of a newly-released report, Understanding Decoupling: Macro Trends and Industry Impacts, “one cannot expect a return to engagement as we knew it.Decoupling is likely to continue in one form or another, even if it does evolve in a more measured, targeted way”.

Focussing on four crucial industries (aviation, semiconductors, chemicals and medical devices), this in-depth study by the US Chamber of Commerce’s China Centre and New York-based research firm Rhodium Group assesses the likely impacts of further decoupling, for the US economy and global supply chains.  Understanding Decoupling is free to download, and makes for fascinating reading – an essential strategic resource for businesses in those sectors, wherever they are based.

International policy changes, including those between third-parties, often open up new opportunities for UK businesses.  Chamber International can help your business to access markets in bother China and the USA, through our professional networks.  Click here to discover more. 


By Matthew Grandage, Chamber International senior associate and China specialist


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