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Trade Wars are Class Wars - 26 January 2022

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In their prize-winning book, Trade Wars are Class Wars (Yale University Press, 2020) Matthew C Klein and Michael Pettis challenge the view that today’s trade wars are a conflict between the United States and China as states. They're rather a conflict, they argue, between economic sectors and, in the last instance, between classes.

'Bankers and owners of capital in both the surplus and the deficit countries have benefited from suppressed wages, rising profits, and increased mobility of international capital.' The only sure way to resolve these conflicts is to reverse the rise in economic inequality over the past generation. How well does this analysis stand up, especially when applied to the US and China? How does this understanding of the class struggle help shed light both on the roots of the trade wars and on alternatives to them? And how are workers organizing today in the face of the unprecedented pressures they are having to face as a result of the pandemic?

Matthew C Klein (Barron’s, The Overshoot), discusses his book with three specialists in the workers’ movements in the US and China: Kim Moody (University of Hertfordshire), Pun Ngai (Hong Kong University), and Cui Zhiyuan (Tsinghua University).

Please join this exciting discussion across three continents on Zoom.

This event is organized by the Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory and the Department of European and International Studies at King's College London.

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