U.S. taking wait-and-see attitude on China trade policy
World Insight with Tian Wei
The eighth round of China-U.S. trade negotiations will descend on Beijing this week. A U.S. trade delegation led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit Beijing March 28 and 29. The face-to-face talks will be the first since U.S. President Donald Trump postponed a March 1 tariff-raising deadline.
China has been making an effort since last year to repair the relationship, like the Foreign Investment Law. What has the U.S. done? CGTN host Tian Wei talked to William Cohen, former U.S. Defense Secretary, a Republican who served in the Clinton Administration, who knows well that when the strong pillar of economic and trade ties are threatened, the overall relationship usually becomes unpredictable.
"The U.S. has not made any changes in our law per se, but the U.S. has said that we would like to see a number of changes, and how Chinese apply their laws to U.S. investment companies. So it has been waiting and sees on the part of the U.S. whether or not there will be any changes in terms of forced technology transfer, whether there will be any changes in terms of taking the intellectual property or transfer intellectual property. If the U.S. saw that, then I think there will be a positive relationship," said Cohen.
During the interview Cohen and Tian Wei were at the China Development Forum, and he articulated the importance of leadership and follow-through for both sides once the trade negotiations are done.
When it comes to the consensus within the U.S. system that there will be a tough approach to China, Cohen expressed that leadership is necessary to make a China-U.S. deal happen, and "leadership comes from the top. If President of the U.S. does not take the lead, saying this is a good deal for the U.S., and then those below him may take the issue, and then try to undermine the agreement. But he has to be very forceful in saying this is right for the American people, and of course President Xi has said this is good for Chinese people, but without that leadership from the top, then the bureaucratic in-fighting takes place. Congress then starts to get involved, saying we don't like the agreement. And so I think if the President takes the lead on this, we'll follow through."
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