Financial Times Op-Ed: U.S. should seek reciprocity with China
In a recent Financial Times op-ed, Michael Wessel, a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), argues that the U.S. has a long history of naïvely expecting China to honor its many trade and commerce commitments.
Wessel says that China’s track record regarding issues such as intellectual property theft has been less than stellar:
“China has not complied because so much of its economy depends on intellectual property theft and raising barriers to imports. The Chinese government itself estimates that counterfeits constitute 15-20 per cent of all products made in China and are equivalent to about 8 per cent of gross domestic product.”
Wessel believes that the U.S. should deal with contentious issues such as these by seeking reciprocity from China. He points out that some trade negotiations have already been successful when conducted on this basis. For example, international mail delivered between the U.S. and China is delivered by a reciprocal agreement that has benefited both nations.
Wessel believes that reciprocity could help improve the strained U.S.-China relationship while providing a better measure for evaluating the success of future trade deals:
“Reciprocity would not help every aspect of the complex relationship between the US and China. But it would be a useful organising principle and would create a clear benchmark to judge the success of future trade agreements. If Stairway to Heaven costs 99 cents on iTunes or Amazon but is free on China’s Baidu, it should be plain to all that something is very wrong.”
Well said by Mr. Wessel.
Thanks to illegal dumping, subsidies, and currency manipulation, China has been chipping away at the strength of the U.S. industrial base for years. It’s time to seek reciprocity with China in order to boost American manufacturing.
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