As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump decried China’s economic and trade practices and pledged to balance the scales for America. Since taking office, the Trump administration has followed through by confronting China with tariffs and making stern demands that, among other things, China stop stealing U.S. intellectual property, coercing U.S. companies into joint ventures and tech transfers, and subsidizing state-owned enterprises. The escalating trade war has touched off an intense debate in Washington—particularly among Democrats—about the extent to which the president is right in his assessment of China and what, if anything, the United States should be doing in response to China’s mercantilist policies.
Some argue that Chinese practices such as forcing technology transfers mostly hurt U.S. corporations, not U.S. workers, so the U.S. government shouldn’t have a dog in the fight, and they contend that China is behaving in much the same way as other nations, including the United States, when it subsidizes its industries, so America has little moral standing to complain. Others, including ITIF, argue that China’s mercantilist practices—especially its strategic plans to dominate key emerging technologies—do severe harm to U.S. companies, U.S. workers, and the U.S. economy, which warrants a robust and resolute response. As the 2020 presidential election gathers momentum, this debate will only intensify further.
Please join ITIF for an expert panel discussion and spirited debate about the fraught economic and political realities of the U.S.-China trading relationship and the best-available options for policymakers.
The event will be livestreamed.