How business leaders of the world can unite to end the trade war if the US and China are not up to the task



David Beier, Christopher Caine | South China Morning Post

  • David Beier and Christopher Caine say the business community has stepped up where governments have failed to protect the global economy in the past
  • Speeding up Chinese reform, enhancing cooperation on crucial technology initiatives and establishing joint business standards could be good starting points
The ongoing US-China trade war bodes poorly for global economic growth. There are steps we can take to prevent the current tit-for-tat escalation from becoming a full-blown cancer that sickens the global economy – but action and leadership is needed, and fast. Otherwise, the governments of the world’s two largest economies risk badly draining global growth.

The recent phone call between President President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump offers hope that further friction can be set aside. However, previous conciliatory measures have shown themselves to be momentary reprises rather than sustainable improvement. We hope this time will be different. But if history repeats itself, where can the needed leadership come from when governments fail to provide it? From a group which has stepped up in previous contentious moments in history: the business community.

In the financial crisis of 1907, JP Morgan helped set a course for economic recovery. After the first world war, business leaders from many countries stepped up to establish the International Chamber of Commerce when governments were unwilling or unable to lead the world economy into a new era of global trade and rules-based commerce.

To read the full article, click here.