Senior adviser to US President Donald Trump Jared Kusher said on Tuesday that America's controversial international trade disputes are part of a plan to rebalance imbalances inherited from America's supremacy after World War II, during a panel at the Future Investment Initiative (FII).
Trade has been a persistent global challenge throughout 2019 as China and the US have engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war with escalating tariffs.
According to Kushner the origins of the trade dispute go back to the Second World War.
“America was by far the wealthiest country in the world and the whole notion that was created as a world order was that America should figure out a way to protect a lot of the world and then also do disproportionate market access with everyone, so a lot of these countries ravaged by war could build up,” said Kusher.
He said that the trade situation should have been rebalanced in the 1980’s, but wasn't and discussed the subsequent negative impact on the US economy and employment.
“You have a lot of very wealthy countries now that have asymmetric market access with America and that has caused a lot of our middle-class manufacturing jobs to leave. Over 70,000 factories in America have closed which has led to an erosion of a lot of working-class manufacturing jobs,” said Kushner, adding that China's membership in the World Trade Organization in 2001 accelerated the impact.
Kushner said that the US administration has come to an understanding with China on where the relationship is headed.
Kushner was featured in a session moderated by the Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of US asset management firm Blackstone, Stephen Schwarzman, at the third edition of the FII held in Riyadh.
Kushner said that he thinks there is “a lot of positive potential” for solving global trade problems, adding that partnerships have strengthened under US President Donald Trump’s tenure.