December 11, 2020 

Susan Thornton, retired senior U.S. diplomat, joined David Firestein to discuss expectations concerning U.S. relations with China under the incoming Biden Administration, as well as prospects for U.S. engagement with the Asia-Pacific region more generally. The discussion delves into a number of contentious U.S.-China and U.S-Asia-Pacific policy issues, including U.S.-China trade frictions and the future of recently signed pan-Asian trade pacts.

“It’s going to be very difficult for us to get back to a place domestically where we can be contemplating signing or joining new trade agreements, which may be potentially debilitating for the United States, given that Asia is going to be the most dynamically growing part of the global economy for the coming decade,” states Thornton.

Susan Thornton is the former United States acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and is currently a visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School and a senior fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center.