US-China trade war

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Since 2018 the United States and China have been engaged in a trade war involving the mutual placement of tariffs.

Since 22 January 2018, the United States and China have been engaged in a trade war involving the mutual placement of tariffs. US President Donald Trump had declared in his campaign to fix China's "longtime abuse of the broken international system and unfair practices".

On 14 May 2019, at the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations in Beijing, President Xi Jinping denounced as "foolish" foreign efforts to reshape other nations as he pushed back against US trade demands:

"To think that one's own race and civilisation are superior to others, and to insist on transforming or even replacing other civilisations, is foolish in understanding and disastrous in practice."[1]

Background

The economic disputes occurred before China's entry to the World Trade Organization but former Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all failed to solve the problems. In April 2018, the United States filed a request for consultation to the World Trade Organization in regard to concerns that China was violating intellectual property rights.[2]

In adding various tariffs, the US administration is relying partly on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to prevent what it calls unfair trade practices and theft of intellectual property.[3] This gives the president the authority to unilaterally impose fines or other penalties on a trading partner if it is deemed to be unfairly harming US business interests, especially if it violated international trade agreements.[4]

The result is that the US claims Chinese laws undermine intellectual property rights by forcing foreign companies to engage in joint ventures with Chinese companies, which then gives the Chinese companies access and permission to use, improve, copy or steal their technologies.[5][6][7]

Made in China 2025

Trump also sees the technical industrial plan of Made in China 2025 as a threat to US economy and national security, therefore imposed tariff on goods that are included in the plan,[8] and also urged China to stop the whole program.[9] However, China argues it has strengthened intellectual property right (IPR) protections and that the US has ignored the effort; that the US has ignored WTO rules and ignored the calls of its own industries to reduce tariffs. China firmly opposes these US trade practices, believing they represent unilateralism and protectionism.

 

Related Quotations

PageQuoteAuthorDate
John Bolton“Trump spoke with Xi Jinping by phone on June 18, ahead of 2019's Osaka G20 summit, when they would next meet. Trump began by telling Xi he missed him and then said that the most popular thing he had ever been involved with was making a trade deal with China, which would be a big plus politically. They agreed their economic teams could continue meeting. The G20 bilateral arrived, and during the usual media mayhem at the start, Trump said, "we've become friends. My trip to Beijing with my family was one of the most incredible of my life." With the press gone, Xi said this is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. He said that some (unnamed) political figures in the United States were making erroneous judgments by calling for a new cold war, this time between China and the United States. Whether Xi meant to finger the Democrats, or some of us sitting on the US side of the table, I don't know, but Trump immediately assumed Xi meant the Democrats. Trump said approvingly that there was great hostility among the Democrats. He then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election, alluding to China's economic capability to affect the ongoing campaigns, pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win. He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump's exact words, but the government's prepublication review process has decided otherwise.”John BoltonJune 2020
Donald Trump“We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing, it's the greatest theft in the history of the world”Donald TrumpMay 2016

 

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Document:Huawei’s phone business would be decimated without Google’s AndroidArticle20 May 2019Vlad SavovA resolution to the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China is now more urgent than ever. However, China is unlikely to react positively to the bullying tactics of the US. And that means Huawei’s phone business may be in limbo for a while yet.


References

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