KOLB: Biden Administration’s Incoherent China Policy

The White House Biden has signaled that the president could lift many, if not all, of the tariffs imposed on China by former President Donald Trump. The rationale for Biden’s decision is to help American consumers by reducing today’s runaway inflation.

The net effect is likely to be small: today’s runaway inflation is not the result of our trade with China, but rather years of excessive Federal Reserve monetary policy and unsustainable government fiscal policies. Republicans and Democrats, including Congress, who have inflated our national debt. .

On July 7, 2022, the Wall Street Journal published three articles regarding China. Max Colchester’s front-page story announced that “FBI warns of Chinese tech spies”. Page A2 featured a column by Greg Ip explaining that “Gridlock Hamstrings US on China”. Meanwhile, on A17’s opinion page, Maurice R. Greenberg, chairman and CEO of CV Starr & Co. and former chairman and CEO of AIG, introduced a new group of CEOs and experts. politicians who “want to rebuild US-China relations”.

Talk about a disconnect!

China is the nation whose Communist Party dictatorship gave us the coronavirus that has now killed more than six million people worldwide, including more than one million Americans. Its leaders still refuse to make clear China’s role when the virus first emerged in Wuhan.

If Joe Biden wants to know why his polls are so low, he might start by reflecting on his rash China policy.

Colchester reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray and Ken McCallum, head of MI5, Britain’s counterintelligence and security agency, jointly announced that “the Chinese government is determined to steal your technology – anything that powers your industry – and use it to undermine your business.

Director Wray added: “They are determined to use every tool at their disposal to do so.” The Chinese will deploy state-sponsored piracy, efforts to influence national policy-making, and use trade or investment “to reward or punish officials.” Wray stressed that meeting this challenge is essential “if we are to protect our economies, our institutions and our democratic values.”

Mr Colchester reports that “the Chinese government denies interfering in the affairs of other countries”. If you believe this claim, you will also believe Vladimir Putin when he said that Russian troops did not invade Crimea in 2014.

Mr. Ip’s report examines Congress’s current struggles to legislate a “China Competition Bill,” as well as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that would expand the manufacturing and development of semi- domestic drivers, as well as technology R&D, aimed at countering China’s long-term strategic goal of world leadership in these critical high-tech areas.

Ip further notes that “With no sign of…concessions, Mr. Biden plans to roll some [tariffs against Chinese goods] back as a gesture of concern for inflation, which is shaking his popularity. His article ends by quoting Bill Bishop, author of the Chinese newsletter “Sinocism”, who warns that Biden’s actions would “further confirm the opinion of some in Beijing…that the United States does not want of a “protracted war” with China. .

Mr. Greenberg, 97, has long had Chinese business interests. His opinion piece in the Journal is a business, all the time. He mentions the hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade between the United States and China each year and suggests that “business leaders from both countries can achieve positive results despite their differences.” He wants to resuscitate the bilateral exchange mechanisms that President Trump effectively shut down when he imposed the tariffs.

Not once does Mr. Greenberg refer to hacking, espionage, human rights abuses, child labor practices, intellectual property theft, Hong Kong or the pandemic in China. . The “senior American political and business leaders” who support his plea for “a more constructive relationship with China” constitute a top group of globalization advocates.

Taken together, these three Wall Street Journal articles present an inconsistent and unruly American approach to China.

President Biden now wants to reward China after more than a million Americans have died from the coronavirus.

Congress cannot act strategically to reposition the United States as a technology leader or to penalize China’s piracy and theft of intellectual property.

And some American business leaders seem unaware that their current stance reflects the views of business back in 2001 when we backed China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. WTO membership would ensure China’s entry into the global economic order as a responsible trading partner. We now know how this mistaken assumption played out.

We have learned no lessons and remain ignorant when it comes to China. No wonder Beijing perceives America as weak. Under Joe Biden, we are.

Charles Kolb served as the President’s Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy from 1990 to 1992 in the George H. W. Bush administration

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Post expires at 1:00am on Friday July 22nd, 2022