How China’s Policies Have Stifled Global Innovation

Robert D. Atkinson January 14, 2020
January 14, 2020

For many years, the prevailing view was that the rapid growth of China’s economy after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 had a positive effect on developed economies. 

Any deleterious impacts were thought to be largely temporary and borne by only a modest number of workers in particular regions. But as more and better research has since been performed, it has become clear that this view was overly optimistic, and the harms were worse than many had forecasted, not just on jobs but on the pace of technological innovation. 

But as Rob Atkinson writes for BRINK, a careful review of the scholarly literature and industry cases suggests that the effect of Chinese economic growth and trade expansion, fueled by a corrosive set of “innovation mercantilist” policies and practices has been negative for innovation in most developed nations, including North America, Europe and Japan.