U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose $60 Billion new tariffs on China’s imports may have unnerved the markets for fears of a trade war with the rising superpower. However the President is right on the money when it comes to dealing with China.
For years China has been accused of employing unethical and coercive tactics to force American companies to surrender intellectual property. These tactics include forcing American companies to enter into unfavourable joint ventures. Beijing has likewise enacted onerous policies such as the Cybersecurity Law that requires American companies to unconditionally transfer technology.
By giving up IP, the United States has compromised its position as the world’s leader in technological innovation.
Now the Trump Administration plans to put an end to all of that and once again secure the country’s economic and national interests.
In its defense, China maintains that it only wants to focus on future growth industries. These include robotics, quantum computing and self-driving cars. But history shows that China is not good at keeping its word.
It expects other countries to follow and observe international laws but China itself is the biggest violator. It has bullied its way to get what it wants in order to become the new global superpower.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has repeatedly called out China for its predatory lending practice. Beijing is known to dangle loan agreements with cash strapped countries or those run by dictators in order to have access to their natural resources.
The U.S. International Trade Commission and the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has long documented the cost and damages done on American business by China’s property theft.
Until Donald Trump assumed the mantle as the United States’ 45th President, the response of previous administrations has always been to encourage dialogue. None of these signed memoranda of understanding or bilateral talks arranged by the Strategic & Economic Dialogue and Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade have created breakthroughs.
Past U.S. presidents were more than willing to accept China’s reasons for protecting their own intellectual property while stealing those of other countries.
China has been a member of the World Trade Organization for 17 years. Throughout that time, it has consistently failed to fulfil the promises and commitments they made to address unfair trade practices.
President Trump had brought this up to China’s now-President for life Xi Jinping during their summit at Mar-a-Lago. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives has catalogued China’s practices.
President Trump’s decision to slap heavy tariffs may start a trade war but it is the right call. It is about time that the United States begins thinking of its own economic and national security instead of bending over backward to give in to China’s own interests.