Monday, May 27, 2024

In a tangible sign of the shift in bipartisan consensus towards China, a bipartisan committee is calling for more economic and financial opening between the United States and China. Among the recommendations put forth by House Democrats and Republicans are to revoke the low tariff rates that the United States granted Beijing when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

The committee’s 53-page report suggests a number of measures, including imposing new tariffs on older types of Chinese chips, cutting off capital and technology flow between the US and China, and requiring publicly traded American companies to disclose ties to China. It also promotes investment in US research and manufacturing capacity to counter Chinese dominance in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and critical minerals. The report also suggests plans to coordinate economically with allies in the event of Chinese government invasion of Taiwan.

The committee’s chairman, Representative Mike Gallagher, views these recommendations as a path to bipartisan legislation on China over the next months. He believes that failing to act will result in chaos for Wall Street and the market.

One of the most significant recommendations of the report is the phasing in a new set of tariffs for China over a short period. The report argues that China consistently failed to make economic reforms that Congress expected, and now calls for a different, higher set of tariffs to be applied to China. While these tariffs were already increased during the Trump administration’s trade war and maintained by President Biden, the report suggests applying even more tariffs to other items such as toys and smartphones.

Chairman Gallagher acknowledges that freeing the US from its economic ties with China will not be an easy task. The report’s authors are hopeful that the recommendations will send a clear message to China that the US is determined to deal with the challenges they pose.

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