Trade wars are important even if they often sound boring compared with other news. One panel at COSM will examine the underlying issues in the ongoing trade spats between the United States and China.
In 2017, the South China Morning Post identified five key issues: trade deficit, market access, intellectual property, currency exchange rates, and government subsidies. Fortunately, many of these issues are conventional. Trade disputes between the United States and Canada or Mexico have featured similar gripes. But some issues are an outcome of the digital age. For example, where intellectual property is the real wealth, accusations amounting to theft are pretty serious:
Beijing often insists on taking a close look at technology that foreign companies want to sell in China.
This not only makes market entry more expensive for US companies but has fuelled accusations of industrial espionage.
“Chinese government authorities jeopardise the value of trade secrets by demanding the unnecessary disclosure of confidential information for product approvals,” according to a report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China in April.Kristin Huang, “Five trade issues the US and China need to tackle before Trump goes to Beijing” at South China Morning Post (September 26, 2017)
Hence mutual retaliatory tariffs:
Over the past year, the world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of one another’s goods.
US President Donald Trump has long accused China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft.
In China, there is a perception that the US is trying to curb its rise.“A quick guide to the US-China trade war” at BBC (September 2, 2019)
It’s not just trade, either:
Beijing is smarting from Trump’s decision to blacklist Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with the company. It has prompted many non U.S.-based companies to cut their own ties to the firm.
China wants the United States to lift those restrictions, trade deal or no, but Washington is lobbying other countries to reduce dealings with Huawei, and has threatened to blacklist other Chinese firms.
Trump’s comments Aug. 14 linking successful trade talks with Beijing’s “humane” handling of protests in Hong Kong could also fuel tensions between the two sides, particularly if the demonstrations heat up further.Andrea Shalal, “Explainer: U.S., China more divided than ever as new trade talks loom” at Reuters
The demonstrations have continued.
Part of the impasse may be cultural. The question of how a great world power should behave toward citizens looms large.
The panel discussion will be 10:00 am, Friday, Oct 25, 2019: The Crisis of Big Tech: The U.S. and China and will feature Bob Kelly, Managing Partner at Ignition Partners in Bellevue; Wendy Liu, China market strategy analyst at UBS, a multinational investment bank, and Gary Rieschel, venture capitalist in China and the United States.
Other featured speakers at the conference, in addition to Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler, will be Oren Etzioni on whether AI is dumbing us down, and Ray Kurzweil, include Steve Forbes, Peter Thiel, and Ken Fisher, discussing where headline news like artificial intelligence, crypto-currency, self-driving cars, e-commerce, and biotech is going. Are machines replacing or helping us and how will we know the difference? What can we do if we don’t like what’s happening?
Note: Register here.
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