Rubio Swings at China Over Trade
In a WaPo op-ed, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is coming out swinging against what he calls an “economic relationship with China that has become increasingly unbalanced — and, over the long term, dangerous — for the U.S.” The Senator announces new legislation to combat intellectual property (IP) theft. In the piece, Rubio essentially calls China’s trade policies two-faced, offering that since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has “One face [that] outwardly offers soaring and seductive promises of an emerging global economic order that will become more open and equitable as nations increase trade and commerce with China. ... The other face speaks inwardly to China’s ultimate geopolitical intentions.” Rubio goes on to hit China for IP theft specifically, saying that the communist nation steals nearly $600 billion annually from just the U.S. The FL Senator calls on Congress to support the administration’s efforts to reform trade with China and announces that next week, he will introduce the Fair Trade With China Enforcement Act to “guard the American people against China’s nefarious influence on national and economic security, directly targeting China’s tools of economic aggression.” The legislation would ban the sale of all sensitive technology or intellectual property to Chinese entities and impose a shareholding cap on Chinese investors in American corporations to prevent undue influence in corporate governance. The op-ed and legislation announcement come as U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and other officials are heading to Beijing this week for trade talks with Chinese counterparts. Read the full piece here.