The trade negotiations between the Trump administration and the People's Republic of China (PRC) are not rooted in commercial disputes. Though media discussions are dominated by issues about opening markets for U.S. exports limited by Chinese policy, the real issue is national security and the need to keep the balance of power tilted in America's favor. Business is the means, not the end.
The United States has agreed to lift its tariffs on industrial metals from Mexico and Canada, clearing a major obstacle to congressional passage of President Trump's new North American trade deal. The bargain calls for Mexico and Canada to adopt tough new monitoring and enforcement measures to prevent Chinese steel from being shipped to the U.S. via their territory.
As the trade talks between the United States and China continue, the trade imbalance is just one part of a much larger struggle between the two largest economies in the world. What many don’t realize is that Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges pose a very serious and imminent risk to the U.S. economy. In fact, it strikes at the very heart of the U.S. financial system.
There's an argument to be made about some of the ways that Chinese tech innovators are gaining. But it's hard to dispute that the U.S. has a formidable competitor that is catching up in key technology sectors. Yes, China's tech titans have been acquiring high-tech companies in America's innovation hubs, subsidizing next-generation breakthroughs, favoring home-grown Chinese companies, recruiting highly skilled, western-educated engineers, and blocking American internet leaders from access.
A lack of innovation is China’s “Achilles heel”, President Xi Jinping warned in an article given high prominence by state media on Thursday, where he also bemoaned the economy for being big yet without being strong. Xi’s comments, carried in the latest issue of the ruling Communist Party’s influential bimonthly theoretical journal Qiu Shi, were made in a speech in January 2016, and originally published a year later in a collection of Xi’s speeches.
President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring a "national emergency" that would empower his administration to block foreign tech companies from doing business in the U.S. if they are deemed a national security threat. The order does not name any countries or companies, but the administration has launched a global campaign to keep the Chinese telecom Huawei from helping U.S. allies develop next-generation wireless infrastructures.
China’s venture investments rose to $105 billion in 2018, nearly matching the U.S. at $111 billion, according to Preqin data. Several factors have contributed to the trend. The Chinese government has grand ambitions to make China a tech superpower, such as its Made in China 2025 policy initiative for building national companies into high-tech champions, and its Internet Plus plan to power up the mobile Internet and the Internet of Things.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley pushed legislation Tuesday that would make it more difficult for American tech companies to export their technology to China. Hawley’s bill, which has few details. would require President Donald Trump to restrict any technology to China that would contribute to the communist country’s military. The Republican’s legislature would also place heavy restrictions on technology that influences artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and robots. It also would restrict any kind of tech that China might use to violate human rights.
The U.S. is losing its advantage to China and other countries when it comes to innovations related to artificial intelligence, blockchain and other key technology, according to an analysis of patent filings over the past decade. While American inventors still command the largest portion of the nation’s patents, the percentage is dropping in the high-tech fields, according to a yearlong study conducted by the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and researchers at GreyB Services Pte.
Companies were bracing Monday for how Beijing might retaliate against President Trump's escalation of a fight over technology and trade that threatens to disrupt a Chinese economic recovery. China has threatened "necessary countermeasures" for Mr. Trump's tariff hikes Friday on $200 billion of Chinese imports. But three days later, in a break with previous tit-for-tat penalties that were imposed immediately, Beijing had yet to announce what it might do.