Letter to the editor: Diplomacy must guide U.S., China relations

I would like to write to you in reference to and expand upon several articles you have written recently about geopolitics in China and the effect on our industry.  Firstly, I would like to thank you for your clear and informative reporting.  This has always been an asset to me and I am sure many of my peers.

Christian Rohrbach

The evolution of the relationship between the U.S. and China has been nothing short of amazing over the past 25 years.  We have seen an almost unbelievable amount of growth in business between the two, but also there has been numerous disagreements on topics ranging from tariffs and trade practices to the construction of military bases on coral reefs in disputed waters. 

The war in Ukraine should serve as a bellwether to what a local/proxy conflict with China could look like.  The loss of life, disruption to food supply chains and increase power costs have been horrendous for Europe and beyond.  The economic damage will be felt for years to come from this conflict.

I wanted to say that while fascinating from a standpoint of a student of geopolitics, it is also somewhat nerve wracking from a business perspective.  I have concerns moving forward on the relationship between the U.S. and China, and how we shall resolve future disagreements and potentially conflicts.  While I believe strongly in American values, I also fully realize that the U.S. and China are deeply integrated on so many levels that a conflict of any kind would be mutually damaging and the harm would not be bilaterally limited.  The U.S. and China need each other, and strong and careful diplomacy is of the utmost importance.

While we in the furniture industry have a very limited ability to influence the relationship between our great nation and China, it is still very important to monitor and understand the current events between the two.  Please keep up the strong commentary to keep us all informed. 

Christian Rohrbach

Vice President, Merchandising


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