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This article was featured in Foreign Affairs magazine and written by Henry Farrell and Abraham Newman, both participating scholars in the U.S.-China Research Group on E-commerce and Mobile Technology, as part of their collaborative research.

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June 3, 2020

The Folly of Decoupling From China, It Isn’t Just Perilous: It’s Impossible

Author: Henry Farrell Abraham Newman

Washington has become obsessed with “decoupling”—the notion that the United States and China should sever the complex supply chains that bind them together. Slapdash efforts to sever risky dependencies on China could end up lopping off healthy and important economic relations with not only that country but the rest of the world. Blocking Huawei’s access to U.S. technology, for instance, may just encourage foreign companies to redesign their supply chains around non-U.S. technologies. Instead of decoupling, the United States should therefore think about “recoupling” the world’s supply relationships in ways that will make them less vulnerable to accident and attack. Doing this right, however, will require U.S. policymakers to develop a whole new body of expertise.

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