Trump on China

Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports that tariffs mark just the first step of a Trump administration campaign targeting China.

The next phase in the president’s bid to level the international playing field on trade will be punishing Beijing for illicit intellectual property theft and seeking legislation to impose greater reciprocity in trading practices.

“The next action on the president’s plate will be the Section 301 action which is designed, in a laser beam way, to address the issue of forced technology transfer, theft of intellectual property, and China’s bid through the China 2025 architecture plan to capture the emerging industries of the future,” the senior official said.

The administration’s trade team is concerned that if China takes control of industries of the future, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, “America will not have a future, at least economically,” the senior official said in an interview. “So that’s where we’re going next.”

The new White House National Security Strategy facilitated the get-tough approach by designating China as a strategic rival.

“The strategy basically acknowledged that our trade with China was not peaceful engagement, but rather that China was engaged in strategies of economic aggression designed to capture global markets, protect their own market, acquire intellectual property and IP of the world, dominate traditional manufacturing industries, and to a large extent take control of a lot of core natural resources of the world,” the senior official said.

China is engaged in a systematic effort to advance their economic interests at the expense of the United States and other nations.

“The president is certainly committed to addressing that and we will begin to do that with the Section 301 actions when they come,” the senior official said.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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