In the meantime, China's extraordinary economic energy and its deep supplies of cheap capital and labour continue to make it an ever more formidable competitor.
China has been happy to facilitate this trend through protectionism. In a little noticed decision, China in March ended tariff exemptions for nearly 200 kinds of industrial equipment, such as smelting and mining machinery and packing materials, imported for use by local companies. The finance ministry said the 30 per cent tariff had been restored to "create a fair environment for domestic equipment makers to compete with foreign rivals through innovation".
Tut tut! We can't have protectionism interfering with the US-China trade relationship.