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It is often said that the U.S. and China superpowers at economic, geopolitical and ideological loggerheads are heading toward a new cold war.Just this month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of predatory economic practices, military aggression against the United States and attempts to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump.No doubt, U.S. tariffs threaten the 18 percent of Chinese exports that go to the U.S. each year. But the Trump administration has more urgent priorities than changing China's system of government, notwithstanding the aggressive rhetoric of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro. Trump desperately wants to bolster U.S. manufacturing by repatriating global supply chains and blocking or curbing imports. Still, even if today's U.S.-China standoff does not evolve into a new cold war, it could weaken both countries and usher in a more multipolar world. For now, countries that rely on Iranian oil may have no choice but to go along with the U.S. Like most traded goods, oil exports are paid for in dollars largely through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication in Belgium and the U.S. has the power to shut down such transactions.If a new system were to take hold, it could rapidly shift power away from the U.S.
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