Published: Fri, August 25, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

The wrong way to rebalance China-US trade

The wrong way to rebalance China-US trade

Administration officials have said that such Chinese theft could amount to as much as US$600 million (S$817m), though Chinese officials deny that forced technology transfers exist and say the country is continuously improving IP protection. And we have to be maniacally focused on that.

It said the two countries "have made a smooth and constructive communication and consultation on bilateral economic and trade issues" since the "successful" meeting, and labelled the USA irresponsible for launching an investigation at this time.

China's foreign ministry responded that both sides would suffer in the event of increased trade friction between the world's two largest economies.

Section 301 allows the USA government to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect its industries.

Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, will conduct an investigation into this and propose steps to push back against such unfair appropriation of American innovation.

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"China is strongly discontented about such unilateral, protectionist practice", a spokesperson with China's Ministry of Commerce said Monday, asking the United States to respect facts and multilateral rules and act with prudence.

"We hope that people will not use 19th and 20th century perspectives and measures to address 21st century problems", it added.

Given the time frame and change in personnel, it's not at all clear what the Trump administration's view of trade with China will look like in a year.

"We're going to run the tables on these guys", Bannon said.

China's policy of forcing foreign companies to turn over technology to Chinese joint venture partners and failure to crack down on IP theft have been longstanding problems for many USA administrations.

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The US has launched formal inquiry into China's policies in relation to intellectual property.

How President Trump will use the results of the investigation is unclear.

This year, China's State Council has twice announced new measures to reduce access restrictions for foreign investments. The complaint is that United States firms are being beaten at their own game.

He had promised some form of action during his election campaign, heralding that "just enforcing intellectual property rules alone could save millions of American jobs".

The amassing of profits through the enforcement of intellectual property rights is essentially a form of parasitism, in which breakthroughs in science, which rest on social and collective intellectual labour, are turned into private property. Of course, any Chinese citizen who tries to engage in robust market competition with state-run Chinese enterprises - like, say, its print and broadcast media - will quickly find himself doubting his government's commitment to what Zhang calls the "ongoing goal of mankind" to "come up with better and more economic goods".

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