“China’s economy is much less dependent on trade now and on trade with the U.S. than it used to be,” says Linda Lim, professor of corporate strategy and international business at the University of Michigan.
“Trade is around 20 percent of China’s economy,” she says. “Ten years ago, it was 40 percent.”
At the same time, U.S. companies like Boeing, General Motors and Apple now make plenty of money in China’s vast consumer market, giving Beijing leverage over the U.S. economy that it once lacked.
Chinese bureaucrats could make life very difficult for these companies if they chose to, Ross says.