As Foreign Policy reported, the departure of Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, often the Senate’s most liberal voice on foreign policy, will change the debate on foreign trade. Senator Feingold was critical of free trade agreements and the relaxation of export controls to countries such as China and India. With so much talk of a currency war with China, the loss of Feingold’s voice will be noticeable.
In a Washington Post analysis of how the midterm election results will affect the relationship, one analyst said that the Republican majority could put an end to Democrats’ protectionist trade policies toward China, which have received support recently because of Americans’ dissatisfaction with the economy.
A Council on Foreign Relations briefing said that pending protectionist legislation could hurt US-China diplomatic ties. Combined with Republican opposition to protectionism, there is likely to be significant debate, and potentially change, in the economic relationship between China and the US.