Responding yet again to the tired question from Charlie Rose, “You want a trade war with China?” Steve Bannon pointed out in his 60 Minutes interview that “China is at economic war with us. Through forced technology transfer and through stealing our technology, China is cutting out the beating heart of American innovation.”
“The forced technology transfer of American innovation to China is the single biggest economic and business issue of our time,” Bannon told Bloomberg Businessweek. “Until we sort that out, they will continue to appropriate our innovation to their own system and leave us as a colony — a tributary state.”
Bannon’s view is supported by Robert Lighthizer who remains inside the White House as U.S. Trade Representative. “CEOs come in to see me continuously,” Lighthizer said recently, “and almost every CEO of a major company will say they’re having a problem with China forcing them into joint ventures, turning over intellectual property, having to license their intellectual property at less than market value.”
Those CEOs won’t complain publicly for fear of Chinese retaliation, so Lighthizer has opened a formal investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act. That law authorizes the President to penalize countries that violate the rules of fair trade, as China does.
“Expect change,” Lighthizer said recently. “The sheer scale of [China’s] coordinated efforts to subsidize, to create national champions, to force technology transfer, and to distort markets throughout the world, is a threat to the world trading system that is unprecedented.”
As Steve Bannon told Charlie Rose, “Donald Trump, for 30 years, has singled out China as the biggest single problem we have on the world stage.” In an interview with Bloomberg, Bannon said, “the heart of the economic-nationalist movement is standing up to China.”
Bannon explained that China requires American companies to give “tribute” to that country by sharing our technology secrets. “That’s what it takes to enter their market,” Bannon observes, and they’ve taken “$3.5 trillion worth over the last 10 years — the essence of American capitalism: our innovation.”