There seems very little doubt whether the complaints president US Donald Trump has about China’s trade practices hold ground. But China veteran Tom Doctoroff sees Trump using the wrong methods to correct the trade concerns, he writes at LinkedIn.
Make no mistake. China’s trade practices are grossly unfair, mercantilistic in the extreme. Obsessed with growth, the underpinning of domestic social stability, the Communist Party does not play nice. It profits from ambiguities that have not been resolved since its accession to the World Trade Organization. The result? Rampant intellectual property theft, state intervention in and protection of “strategic industries” and forced technology transfers. Furthermore, China’s recent policies are not friendly. Xi Jinping’s “China 2025” plan espouses “self-reliance” in sectors from artificial intelligence to electric vehicles as fundamental to China’s “dream” of national glory. It also smacks of epic statist intervention.
So Trump’s push to rewrite the rulebook, with clear “don’t cross” red lines, is not unreasonable. That’s why, until recently, his PRC trade policies have earned rare bi-partisan support.
But Trump is blowing it, hugely.
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