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The Missing Piece in America’s Strategy for Techno-Economic Rivalry with China

The steady stream of U.S. senior officials traveling to Beijing in the past few months has underscored the administration’s quest for a fresh approach to navigating the economic and technological rivalry between the United States and China. As the world closely observes these diplomatic exchanges, a question looms large: Are traditional methods of engagement effective in addressing the growing challenges posed by China’s techno-economic malpractice to U.S. economic interests and those of other democratic market economies?

But as Rob Atkinson and Liza Tobin write for Lawfare, China employs an array of market-distorting tactics we have described elsewhere as innovation mercantilism and brute force economics to gain dominance in sectors that matter for economic competitiveness and national security. These include steel, solar panels, drones, shipbuilding, pharmaceutical ingredients, high-speed rail, and telecommunications equipment, among others. Tactics include market access restrictions, massive industrial subsidies that fuel overcapacity, technology transfer requirements for market access, preferential financing and procurement contracts for domestic firms, intellectual property theft, cyber- and human-enabled espionage, coercion and bullying, forced labor and other poor labor conditions, and other market-distorting policies.

Read the commentary.

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