There is a theory in management that was taught to me when I first arrived at Arizona State. In my first TGM 101 class, I was told that the world was becoming smaller, and countries were becoming more and more interconnected. Generally speaking, this is true. We have seen unprecedented economic and technological growth on a scale never before seen in human history. Global supply chains, the internet; these new systems are changing the way the world works. Their greatest ambition was, in a sort-of perfect globalist view, the dissolution of borders (or at least, trade barriers) and increased interconnectivity. There was a classic idea that trade would bring new markets and provide opportunities to grow. There is a fundamental flaw with this theory: it fails to acknowledge our past.
We cannot ignore factors of religion, politics, and culture. There is a rise in political populism: Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign, Brexit, a rise in Russian and Chinese nationalism, just to name a few. New global players want to establish themselves as leaders, through technology and territorial growth. The purpose of my research is to analyze China’s growth in the automotive sector, identify trade issues with respect to this industry between the United States and China, and to encourage others to re-evaluate our position in a global, interconnected economy. A global economy that is too dependent on a single, state-funded production hub is a vulnerable one. The main issues are in China’s unfair trade practices, including currency manipulation, Chinese import dumping, poor working conditions, safety standards violations, and nationalized or government owned businesses.