China's Vice Premier Liu He (centre) shake hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (right) looks on in Beijing in March. Photo: AFP China's Vice Premier Liu He (centre) shake hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (right) looks on in Beijing in March. Photo: AFP
China's Vice Premier Liu He (centre) shake hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (right) looks on in Beijing in March. Photo: AFP
Robert Boxwell
Opinion

Opinion

Robert Boxwell

The ‘big dumb guy’ and why a China trade deal will be a flop

  • Watching the US inch toward a watered-down trade agreement is like watching the big dumb guy reach for a doorknob in a horror movie
  • You scream – “Don’t open that door!” – but you know he’s going to open it and a guy with an axe on the other side is going to do what guys with axes do

China's Vice Premier Liu He (centre) shake hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (right) looks on in Beijing in March. Photo: AFP China's Vice Premier Liu He (centre) shake hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (right) looks on in Beijing in March. Photo: AFP
China's Vice Premier Liu He (centre) shake hands with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (right) looks on in Beijing in March. Photo: AFP
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Robert Boxwell

Robert Boxwell

Robert Boxwell has worked and lived in the Asia-Pacific region since the early 1990s. He is an occasional contributor on business and regional issues to the South China Morning Post, Reuters, Financial Times and Bloomberg, and is writing a book on the history of US-China trade. He lives in Kuala Lumpur, where he is director of the international consultancy Opera Advisors. Find him on Twitter: @RobertBoxwellJr.