Washington. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) strongly supports President Trump’s announcement of new efforts to defend the US economy against economic aggression from China. Specifically, President Trump will take three key steps that CPA views as crucial toward revitalizing America’s industrial strength: Impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products manufactured through stolen technology and intellectual property theft; restrict the purchase of US firms and technology by government-owned Chinese companies; pursue a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against Beijing’s use of forced technology transfer on US companies.
CPA Chair Dan DiMicco said, “It’s extremely encouraging for America’s domestic manufacturers that President Trump, along with Peter Navarro, Robert Lighthizer, and Wilbur Ross, are willing to stand up to such brazen bullying. Chinese companies have shamelessly hacked key US technologies and stolen proprietary US technology for nuclear power generators, solar cells, Internet software, and Internet hardware. It’s unacceptable that these products subsequently enter the US market and disadvantage scrupulous American companies and their workers who play by the rules.”
Michael Stumo, CEO of the CPA, said, “Beijing has committed the largest theft in world history through its systematic technology transfer strategy. Over $350 billion per year is lost to forced technology transfer. A substantial portion of the technology underpinning China’s government-owned companies was forcibly taken from US firms. This is economic aggression, and it must be confronted in order to preserve America’s cutting-edge industries and future jobs.”
Past administrations have attempted years of economic dialogue with China to resolve issues of trade cheating, forced technology transfer, and intellectual property theft. But Chinese firms continue to hack America’s leading companies and steal proprietary technology. Beijing has also demanded that US firms manufacture in China, and required the transfer of key technologies at coercively low prices, in exchange for short-term market access.
In 2017, China racked up a record $375 billion trade surplus with the United States. Stumo explains that the Trump Administration’s action on tariffs, investment, and trade enforcement is critical to defending against China’s ongoing aggression.
“This a bold but necessary first step,” said Stumo. “China has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar many times, and the president is saying ‘Enough is enough.’ Beijing will inevitably try to deflect criticism by responding with trade actions. But the US holds a clear advantage since our consumer market is the key driver of China’s growth. The administration will likely evolve its response to limit undue retaliatory harm. But Beijing has left us with little recourse after twenty-odd years of brutish behavior.”
Stumo adds that the use of tariffs should be recognized as a longstanding method to enforce global trade rules.
“Tariffs are a necessary resort in this case,” said Stumo. “They should be combined with a concerted industrial strategy and management of the dollar exchange rate to make American goods more competitive both at home and overseas. As President Trump responds to evolving retaliation threats, our farmers and ranchers should be protected from retaliation with the full force of the US government.”
CPA has long been concerned by China’s purchase of critical American technologies. Stumo says that Beijing has perfected the art of “weaponized investment,” with China’s government-supported companies systematically acquiring US firms and technology. Beijing also imposes coercive licensing requirements on US companies. The result is an ongoing erosion of America’s competitive standing in advanced technologies.
Said DiMicco, “Many US firms are required to sign licensing agreements with Chinese companies at low prices as a condition of selling there. It’s a devil’s bargain, and it means the US surrendering long-term technological viability for short-term market access. But it’s not a recipe for our economic survival.”
CPA believes President Trump’s actions are long overdue, noting the loss of millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs over the past two decades. CPA and its members stand ready to support the administration as it embarks on such a critical course for the US economy.
Added DiMicco, “This is about the future of our country. President Trump is right to act now against China’s wanton attacks. We have to do this if we want to preserve a strong economy for our children.”