A Change of Heart on China
At the Wall Street Journal's China Real Time blog, reporter Andrew Batson says that Sue Schwab, the former U.S. Trade Representative under President George W. Bush, has some less than kinds things to say about U.S. trade relations with China.
Schwab is now a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and is free to speak her mind on what she sees as the flaws in U.S.-China trade.
At a panel discussion Saturday hosted by the Italian Embassy in Beijing, she offered some significant criticism.
- Schwab points to Motorola and other companies that decided to invest long-term in China, and were compelled to transfer technology in order to gain market share. Having acceded to Beijing's pressures, and offered key technical knowledge to China, these multinational corporations have found the outcome "very mixed."
- Batson says that Schwab cited similar concerns from GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who has expressed public concern as to whether Beijing will actually allow foreign companies to succeed in the domestic Chinese market.
- The big problem, according to Schwab, is that this transfer of technology to China "ended up creating a very serious competitor...in their home markets.”
- It's not just the loss of key technical innovation that worries Schwab. She says intellectual property theft and piracy are still ongoing problems: "The government of China itself is one of the principal perpetrators of this theft of intellectual property. State owned enterprises almost universally use pirated software.”
It's good to see Schwab voicing her concerns over trade with China. They come a bit late, though, when the U.S. is running a massive bilateral trade deficit, hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs, and losing technical prowess.
Read more about Sue Schwab's change of heart on China.
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