As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: China

Pence: NBA a ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ of China

Vice President Pence Thursday assailed the NBC and Nike for their hypocrisy, pretending to stand for social justice — except when it comes to their bottom line, which dictates that they not anger communist China over Hong Kong.

All this is true. How about calling on Americans to reconsider buying products made in China, and to call on businesses to start finding other low-wage countries to make their products?

But that would inconvenience us.

Pence went on to tell the people of Hong Kong, “We stand with you.”

Well, I think that’s a good thing to do. The Chinese should understand that there will be consequences if they crush Hong Kong.

But we also have to be careful about doing what we are so good at, which is to tell people we cannot possibly help that we support them. We cannot provide military aid to Hong Kong. And unless there is a plan to take serious, long-lasting steps against the Chinese if they start murdering protestors, we should not be giving people the impression that we are going to do something for them.

It makes us feel so good about ourselves to say these things, but then it is the people over there who must suffer.

John King: Trump “Deserves a Lot of Credit for Standing Up to China”

CNN’s John King knows. I covered the White House with him from the Clinton administration into the Obama administration, which is about when I think he left the beat. We listened time and time again as administration officials promised to get tough with China, call it out for intellectual property theft, brand it a currency manipulator, etc., etc., etc.

And nobody never did nothing.

Meantime, the United States exported untold numbers of manufacturing jobs to the Peoples’ Republic of China.

Trump deserves a lot of credit, as does King for giving Trump credit while his colleagues in the liberal mainstream media are forced to listen, no doubt aghast.

And as Trump indicated the other day, this is not a convenient thing for him to do. It could cause a recession. But there’s a principle involved – yes, with Trump – and he believes it will benefit the economy in the long term, despite short term pain.

King said:

Look, the President is absolutely right when he says that China has been cheating for 25 years and that Bill Clinton didn’t do enough about it, George W. Bush didn’t do enough about it, Barack Obama didn’t do enough about it, or didn’t want to pick the fights for other reasons, thought there were reasons the U.S. economy is benefiting so much, we won’t pick these fights, start the conversations, not finish the conversations. The president is absolutely right.

Trump’s Tariffs are Working, Causing China Economic Pain

Republican proponents of unlimited free trade don’t like President Trump’s tariffs on China. And Democrats who have long supported tariffs seem to dislike them now because . . . they’re Trump’s tariffs.

Also disliking the China tariffs? China.

For years in Washington I have heard politicians and administration officials talk about the rampant cheating by China, its near-slave labor costs, its theft of American technology, and its manipulation of its exchange rate. All of it cost American workers their jobs while keeping iPhones from being too expensive for America’s elite.

But we were informed that this was the “global system” working with efficiency and we don’t want to upset China because we’re busy ushering it into the global trading system and modernizing it and creating democracy, etc., etc.

Meantime, we need to expand the service sector – you know, more attorneys, and more cashiers to ring up all those cheap Chinese imports that you are going to buy.

Trump finally took some action. And it’s working. China’s economy is suffering, in part because of Trump’s tariffs, and it seems to me they’re going to have to change their behavior.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which is stocked with free traders:

Another blow has come courtesy of Mr. Trump. However much criticized at home, his tariff war is hitting China’s economy hard. Its stock market is around a four-year low, while Beijing’s bluster is offset by repeated overtures to resolve the confrontation. Thanks to China’s $350 billion trade surplus with the U.S., Washington can target a broad range of Chinese goods with tariffs. The damage to American firms from the current trade war may be significant, but China can’t weather a prolonged battle nearly as well.

Politico today reports that the post-tariff economic news is bad:

Business sentiment in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors was weaker than expected in October, led by sharp declines in export demand, according to the official purchasing managers’ index published on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

The figures were the first gauges of the trade war’s impact since the U.S. levied 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in late September.

The manufacturing sentiment index dropped to 50.2 in October, from 50.8 a month earlier. The reading, which was its lowest in more than two years and barely above the 50 point line that separates expansion from contraction in the sector, suggests the possibility of contraction in November as the U.S. tariffs take effect.

That situation could worsen in January, when the tariff on the $200 billion of Chinese imports is set to rise to 25 percent.

Trump is a man of action. And certain principles. One of his principles is that manufacturing is good for America, and its disappearance isn’t inevitable. There are at least in part some specific causes for the decline, and those reside overseas, where there is unfair competition.

That is now, finally, being addressed.

Trump to Bar Chinese Companies from Investing in U.S. Tech Firms

This should have been done a long time ago. But we finally have a president who recognizes that China is out to supplant us as the globe’s leading superpower and that its growing power, driven by a strongman consolidating his position, needs to be confronted.

From the Wall Street Journal:

President Donald Trump, already embroiled in a trade battle with China, plans to ratchet commercial tensions higher by barring many Chinese companies from investing in U.S. technology firms, and by blocking additional technology exports to Beijing, said people familiar with administration plans.

The twin initiatives, set to be announced by the end of the week, are designed to prevent Beijing from moving ahead with plans outlined in its “Made in China 2025” report to become a global leader in 10 broad areas of technology, including information technology, aerospace, electric vehicles and biotechnology.

The Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25% Chinese ownership from buying companies involved in what the White House calls “industrially significant technology.” The ceiling may end up lower than that, according to people familiar with discussions finalizing the plans.

In addition, the National Security Council and the Commerce Department are putting together plans for “enhanced” export controls, designed to keep such technologies from being shipped to China, said the people familiar with the proposals.

China Backs Down to Trump

For the whole time I’ve been a reporter in Washington, about two decades, the common “wisdom” has been that you have to carefully kiss China’s ass so as not to disturb markets, cause it to “retaliate” through trade or by “calling in our debt,” and so as to turn China into a democracy.

Meantime China has done what it wants – slapping tariffs on our goods, manipulating its currency, stealing our intellectual property, repressing its people, and illegally seizing territory in the South China Sea.

And as usual, we keep convincing ourselves that we can turn expansionist dictatorships into Jeffersonian democracies. Western leaders and elite always have the conceit of thinking so well of themselves that they assume everyone must be like them deep inside, or aspire to be.

China operates by force, and understands force. President Trump understands human nature, and the nature of our adversaries, far better than any think-tank Ph.D. He knows what China will respond to. Threats, and tough action.

Trump and Xi Jinping

Sure, the entire State Department and the whole Washington press corps pissed its pants when Trump assessed tariffs on Chinese goods.

And so did Xi Jinping.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised foreign companies greater access to China’s financial and manufacturing sectors, pledging Beijing’s commitment to further economic liberalization amid rising trade tensions with the U.S.

In a speech that officials had billed as a major address, Mr. Xi said Tuesday that plans are underway to accelerate access to the insurance sector, expand the permitted business scope for foreign financial institutions and reduce tariffs on imported automobiles and ownership limits for foreign car companies.

Throughout his 40-minute address, Mr. Xi never mentioned the trade friction with the U.S. or President Donald Trump. His remarks seemed designed to offer some policy initiatives, if not concessions, while drawing a contrast with President Trump’s “America First” agenda and portraying China as a steady global partner committed to the international trade order.

“In a world aspiring for peace and development, the Cold War and zero-sum mentality look even more out of place.” Mr. Xi told the Boao Forum, a government-backed gathering of business and political leaders on the tropical island of Hainan.

China is no partner to any global order. China and the United States are locked in a decades-long struggle for world hegemony and influence. That is why Xi warns about not engaging in a “Cold War.” Because he knows he has created one, and he wants to win it.

WSJ: Trump’s Tariffs Could “Really Hurt” China

Maybe President Trump knows what he’s doing.

If you listen to much of the press, Trump is recklessly getting the United States into a tit-for-tat trade war with China that hurts everyone. But from Trump’s point of view, as he tweeted this morning, the United States has already lost the trade war. Now, it’s time to play catchup.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States has significant leverage because of the damage Trump’s proposed tariffs could do to China:

Foreign firms in China are among the most productive of all firms there and are a critical conduit into the country for technology.

Those same companies will dial back investment if they believe routing Chinese goods into the U.S. is set to become progressively difficult. And China—struggling under a massive debt load created by its own inefficient state firms—needs their dynamism and know-how.

But companies attracting investment from outside mainland China have still been key job engines over the long run. Crucially, they have done so without the dangerous build-up of debt that’s characterized so much of China’s domestic industry . . .

So while U.S. leverage with China is weaker than a decade ago, there are still good reasons for China to offer concessions. Neither the U.S. or China has yet set a firm deadline for these tariffs to actually take effect—that means the next step is serious horse trading. The question is what the Trump administration will accept.

A few things are perhaps achievable. They include greater purchases of U.S. semiconductors by Beijing—a move reportedly under discussion; much looser joint venture or foreign ownership requirements, particularly in sectors like finance and health care where additional capital is sorely needed; and higher Chinese payments for U.S. intellectual property.

The article goes on to say we can’t “rapidly” scale down our trade deficit with China. But serious progress in combating China’s egregiously unfair trade practices seems to be on the way.

Trump Assesses $60 Billion in Tariffs on China

China has been stealing our intellectual property for years. Finally, a president is getting tough about it.

“This is the first of many,” Trump said as he signed some $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the United States.

Of course, reporters present tried to ask about whether he would testify before special counsel Mueller, which is all anybody in Washington thinks about. But for American business, this is an important moment, and for American voters it’s the keeping of a key campaign promise to get tough with China, which has been ripping us off for many years as it accrues to capital it needs to build a war machine that can challenge us in the Western Pacific and around the world.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Trump administration complains that the Chinese use intimidation and subterfuge to acquire U.S. technology, put U.S. firms in China at a disadvantage through unfair licensing deals and siphon away U.S. jobs. Mr. Trump sees confrontation as the way to get results, feeling that past administrations haven’t been tough enough, said senior White House officials.

China contends it has improved its protection of intellectual property and that it is moving fast to further liberalize its economy. It also is putting together a package of retaliatory measures against U.S. tariffs.

The $50 billion figure equals about 10% of U.S. imports from China. U.S. officials said the amount is roughly equal to its calculations of annual lost earnings by U.S. companies in China as a result of forced joint ventures and technology transfers.

Note: The live stream has ended, a video will be posted soon.

Trump Putting Together Massive China Tariff Package

The Chinese have been stealing our technology and cheating on trade for years, and we do nothing about it because businesses think it’s still worth it and past administrations don’t want to pick a fight.

President Trump was elected on a nationalist platform that includes standing up for the United States. We shouldn’t be such pussies and worry about how other countries will respond. They need us, and they will come to an accommodation that is better for the United States than the status quo.

Remember – Washington never gets this, but New York might – with Trump, everything is a negotiating tactic. Everything is an opening bid. He’s looking for a better deal, but Washington always things he is trying to roll over people. Whatever he proposes on China is not where he expects to end up.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Trump administration is putting together a package of anti-China measures, including tariffs on at least an annual $30 billion of Chinese imports, to pressure Beijing to end requirements that U.S. companies transfer technology to Chinese firms.

According to a White House official and people briefed on administration deliberations, the measures are the next part of an administration trade policy aimed at reducing the enormous U.S. trade deficit. President Donald Trump has said that he wants China to come up with a plan to slash its $375 billion merchandise trade surplus with the U.S. by $100 billion.

The measures, which are expected to be announced in the next week or two, arise from administration findings that China has violated U.S. intellectual property laws and has unfairly pressured U.S. companies to transfer technology. The administration, according to the individuals involved, estimates the damage to U.S. companies from forced technology transfer at $30 billion annually. The administration has been working for months on a report laying out the evidence for their allegations.

No final decisions about retaliation have yet been made, according to a White House spokeswoman.

Trump Says China Not a Currency Manipulator

President Trump will not name China a currency manipulator this year, despite repeated campaign promises to do so on his first day in office, the Washington Examiner reported. Trump told the Wall Street Journal Wednesday that he will not officially name China a currency manipulator in a forthcoming report because the country, he said, hasn’t… Continue Reading

Mattis: U.S. not Strong Enough to Deter Russia and China

Retired Gen. James Mattis said Thursday that he does not believe the U.S. military is strong enough to deter Russia and China, the Washington Examiner reported. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asked Mattis if America has a strong enough military to be able to deter against those threats and… Continue Reading

Obama Backs Down to China

This is the difference between strong leaders and weak leaders. And it will have consequences for the United States I was about to write a post – and would have before if I wasn’t trying to get in a little break for Thanksgiving – about how President Obama had finally made a bold move in… Continue Reading