Opinion: How will midterm election reshape US-China trade ties?
Updated 08:32, 03-Nov-2018
CGTN’s Global Business
The upcoming US midterm election will do little in resolving the current trade tensions with China, with the outcome probably weakening the powers of President Donald Trump, Kong Qingjiang, dean of the School of International Law at the China University of Political Science and Law, told Global Business on CGTN.
The elections are taking place next month, two years after Trump was elected as the 45th president of the US and almost halfway through his first term in office. 
US voters will be electing members of the Congress, which includes the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats are up for grabs, and Senate, where 35 of the 100-seat body are being contested.
The Democrats are eager to show Trump that the country does not support his stance on key issues, and believe they can win control of the House of Representatives by winning a majority of seats.
In an attempt to retain its sway on Congress, Trump has fielded Vice President Mike Pence and a host of surrogates to campaign for the Republican candidates and visit key districts and states to call for their backing.
"The midterm election may weaken the power of Trump," Kong forecast. 
Currently, the Republicans control both the Senate and the House. If they lose their majority, the power of Trump will shrink without any doubt, the expert added.
"When the two chambers are (controlled by) Democrats, (Trump's) policy agenda will certainly be boycotted," Kong said. However, it's not a bird in hand that Democrats could win the majority in both Senate and House, according to Kong. 
"In that case, the policy agenda of Trump will meet opposition in one chamber, but not necessarily end with failure in another," he noted.
Some experts also argue that the results of the election would possibly affect the trade relations between the US and China, which have been worsening since March when the Trump administration imposed the first round of tariffs on Chinese goods, triggering retaliatory action by Beijing and heightening tensions between the world's two biggest economies.
However, Kong predicted that the outcome of the US midterm election will do little to change the present situation between the two countries for two reasons.
First, according to the expert, there is little disparity between the Democrats and Republicans regarding China-US trade relations.
The second reason is related to policy.
"The power of trade policy primarily rests on the president rather than the Congress, particularly in terms of implementation of trade policy and laws. So the Congress, even under the control of majority of Democrats, will still be unable to shake the policy agenda of Trump in terms of trade." 
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