Earlier this year, I called a hearing of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific where the witnesses expressed these and other concerns about China’s policies towards high tech sectors. Before his summit with President Xi, I sent a letter to President Trump outlining the concerning trends we discussed, and recommending that he raise them with President Xi directly. The United States welcomes honest competition, but we can’t let U.S. innovation be destroyed by bullying and thievery.
In concert with CCP leadership, Chinese businesses undermine U.S. and regional security by subverting sanctions on North Korea and continue to use zero-sum tactics to degrade the United States’ long-term competitiveness in high-tech industries, contravening international norms. More mundane transgressions abound as well; from steel dumping to a broad range of market access restrictions that violate the principle of national treatment, China doesn’t seem to think much of the rules-based global order that has facilitated its remarkable rise. It is past time to take action to defend our national interests against malign Chinese commercial actors.
So, I welcome the administration’s use of secondary sanctions authority, and the news that it is preparing further actions to respond to unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. Far from the histrionic warnings of a trade war, if done right, such measures will be overdue assertions of U.S. interests. If China expects to deal with the United States as an equal, then it must deal fairly. It is time to bring some much-needed reciprocity into our bilateral relationship.
Congressman Ted Yoho chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.