As the U.S. and China ratchet up a tit-for-tat tariff dispute, it has been said often in the last few weeks: "No one wins a trade war."
Nevertheless, staying out of a war is often the best way to win, or at least not to lose.
Take Australia, for example. In the 1990s, as the Asian economic miracle was taking shape, Australian politicians worked hard to overcome the country's geographic and cultural distance from that region to position it on the economic front lines. And while the U.S. has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Australia is still part of the pact. Canberra has also forged a series of bilateral deals with its regional neighbors, including a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
China is now Australia's largest trading partner. What's more, it produces many of the things that China also sources from the U.S. — exports that appear on Beijing's list of 128 U.S. goods that will see tariffs of 15 to 25 percent in retaliation for the Trump administration's decision to impose similar tariffs on aluminum and steel from China.