Jim O’Neill, a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., gestured when speaking during an interview with Bloomberg Television in the 30th edition of the European Economic and Financial Outlook workshop at the European House – Ambrosetti in Cernobbio, near Como. , Italy, on Friday, April 5, 2019.
Alessia Pierdomenico | Bloomberg through Getty Images
LONDON – Joe Biden’s presidency is a bigger problem for the Chinese government than the Donald Trump government has been for nearly four years, economist Jim O’Neill said on Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”.
Trump took a different approach to U.S.-China relations by unilaterally imposing tariffs on Beijing. The outgoing president often took over the trading practices of the Asian power plant on Twitter and launched a trade war with China that made the world economy more difficult.
This was in stark contrast to the European approach, for example, which often prompts China to negotiate trade disputes using traditional institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the G-20.
But President-elect Biden is also likely to push for these agreements at the multilateral trade table, which could mean more concrete action in his dealings with China.
“I have the impression that the Chinese are more interested in the Biden administration than the Trump administration,” said O’Neill, a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs and now chairman of the UK Chatham House think tank, suggesting that Biden team “stronger philosophical convictions” on key issues.
“And they (Biden staff) will use existing multinational fora to try to better account for China by the standards of such international fora, be it the WHO, the G-20, the World Bank, etc., and not something like that … negotiation style , which Trump loved so much, “he added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Biden earlier this week to congratulate him on his election victory. According to media reports, Hszi hoped that both countries would maintain the spirit of “conflict, conflict, mutual respect” when dealing with their differences.
One of the many points of tension between the United States and China was the cause of climate change. Before the Trump presidency, Washington and Beijing often clashed to deal with increased carbon levels.
However, the U.S.’s climate ambitions have changed along with Trump, and that pressure on China to step up its efforts on emissions has cooled somewhat. Beijing changed its position and in September – just a few weeks after the US presidential election – announced its goal of reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2060.
“Oddly enough, this could already force China to think a little differently,” O’Neill said of the impact of the U.S. election on China.