Trade experts discuss US-China trade war on panel in Washington, DC
THE question of whether the US is justified in retaliating against China's economic and trade policies was the subject of a panel discussion at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, DC
THE question of whether the US is justified in retaliating against China's economic and trade policies was the subject of a panel discussion at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in Washington, DC.
The trade war is failing to address the most important economic problems for the US working class and is uplifting US multinational corporations 'without regard for working people,' Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities senior fellow Jared Bernstein, reported American Shipper.Disagreeing, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) president Robert Atkinson accused China of stealing US companies' intellectual property (IP).
That's not the point, said Mr Bernstein. 'If the US succeeds in protecting intellectual property, for example, from joint venture agreements, simple logic suggests there'll be more offshoring, not less,' he said.
Mr Bernstein added that US opposition to China's state subsidies reflects its dislike of an economic model that is different to that of the US.
A common criticism of China is that Beijing selects winners through its subsidy policies, while the US tax code picks winners based on which company has the most connected tax lobbyists, Mr Bernstein said.
'If we just shifted our framework vis-a-vis our relationship with China and more of a cooperation or unifying between working classes here and there, we would begin to understand that intellectual property diffusion is a positive,' he said. 'The improved living standards that these policies can yield and have yielded in China is also a plus.'
Not so, said the ITIF's Atkinson who said the US should tackle China's 'mercantilism' and innovation strategies.
Chinese state-backed company Fujian Jinhua, he said, was awarded a US$3 billion subsidy to construct the world's biggest fabrication facility for dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips and acquired the technology to develop the chips by stealing it from Micron.
'Potentially, if the administration hadn't pushed back against that, they would have ended up taking Micron's market share away and eliminating and destroying many, many jobs in the US,' Mr Atkinson said. 'And we see that over and over again.'
He also alleged that China stole MIT start-up American Superconductor's technology for software controls for wind turbines.
With regards to the contentious issue of technology transfer, Mr Atkinson said there are some cases of voluntary tech transfer, but most technology transfers are 'a deal you can't refuse,' given that firms from countries including the US, Germany or Japan are often told they can't invest or sell in China unless they transfer technology to a Chinese company.