With the future of globalisation now teetering on the edge of a precipice, the European Chamber and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) are publishing a joint report on the current and potential costs of decoupling. The report covers four main themes of decoupling, broken down across nine sections:
macro (political and financial);
trade (supply chains and critical inputs);
innovation (standards and R&D); and
data and networks (data, network equipment and telecommunications services).
Some pinpoint the Trump Administration’s opening shots in the US-China trade war as the moment that decoupling really began. However, the US’ actions were predated by decoupling trends that had started several years before. China’s self-reliance campaign in strategic, high-technology sectors has been in motion for years, and was given a shot in the arm more than half a decade ago when the China Manufacturing 2025 initiative was first announced. Seemingly vindicated by the US-China trade and tech war, China’s leaders have doubled down on the self-reliance campaign, further exacerbating the trend towards decoupling and triggering a race to the bottom.
European companies operating in China have already been impacted in various ways. Many fear that a continuation along this perilous route towards a complete fracturing of economic and technological ties between the US and China may sound the death knell for their China business or force them into a ‘dual-track’ approach to technology and supply chains, either of which will cause irrecoverable damage to their global operations and home markets alike.
Join the launch of the Decoupling Report to know more. European Chamber President Joerg Wuttke will present the report.