However, something has just come out that is far more interesting and possibly broader-reaching as far as the mock-happy relationship of these two in concerned. Every year, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission comes out with its report to Congress that typically bashes China over trade, human rights, and its relations with Taiwan. This year is no different. My colleague here at the LSE from the PRC Foreign Ministry says he regularly interacts with this body and downplays the aggressive tone often taken in the report.
Anyway, the rather large 5 MB, 367-page (wow, that should satisfy the reading interests of the most avid China-basher) report is available for download. I'll take it home and have a read to see if there's anything of interest. Meanwhile, here are 10 of the (count 'em!) 42 recommendations that are deemed particularly actionable:
- Employing World Trade Organization trade remedies more aggressively. The Commission recommends that Congress urge the administration to employ more aggressively all trade remedies authorized by World Trade Organization rules to counteract the Chinese government’s practices. The Commission further recommends that Congress urge the administration to ensure that U.S. trade remedy laws are preserved and effectively implemented to respond to China’s unfair or predatory trade activities.Again, my opinon is that the severity of US sanctions at China will depend on how bad things get Stateside. Readers probably know that I consider America a prime example of How to Run Your Country Into the Ground and Screw Over Future Generations. At this point in time, there is no surer fire way of guaranteeing misery for your citizens than following America's benighted example. While the report does mention that the US-China trade imbalance to date is down about seventeen percent from last year, don't expect that to be a major hindrance to more China-bashing measures as the US deservedly reaps more of what it has sowed. As they say, garbage in, garbage out--and China will inevitably be on the receiving end of more of this sort of thing as the nearest available scapegoat.
- Responding effectively to China’s currency manipulation. The Commission recommends that Congress urge the administration to press China to allow the RMB to become flexible and responsive to market forces, thereby contributing to the correction of global economic imbalances. The Commission further recommends that Congress consider legislation that has the effect of offsetting the impact on the U.S. economy of China’s currency manipulation.
- Evaluating the impact of China’s value added tax. The Commission recommends that Congress urge the United States Trade Representative to evaluate the use of selective value added tax rebates by China and their trade-distorting effect and determine what steps, if any, should be taken to address the issue.
- Reporting on the implications of Chinese subsidies to the U.S. clean energy sector. The Commission recommends thatCongress urge the Department of Energy, in consultation with other appropriate agencies, to report to Congress on the impact of Chinese subsidies and other elements of China’s industrial policy on U.S.-based companies manufacturing clean energy products.
- Ensuring adequate funding to limit China’s antiaccess capabilities. The Commission recommends that Congress assess the adequacy of planning and resourcing of Department of Defense programs that would limit China’s antiaccess capabilities. In particular, Congress should focus on antisubmarine warfare and ballistic missile defense programs. Congress should also assess the adequacy of funding and resources for the Department of Defense’s Pacific Command.
- Meeting the rising challenge of Chinese espionage. The Commission recommends that Congress assess the adequacy of resources available for intelligence, counterintelligence, and export control enforcement programs to ensure that U.S. government agencies are able to meet the rising challenge of Chinese human intelligence and illicit technology collection.
-Ensuring adequate funding to respond to computer exploitation and computer attacks. The Commission recommends that Congress assess the effectiveness of and resourcing for law enforcement, defense, and intelligence community initiatives that aim to develop effective and reliable attribution techniques for computer exploitation and computer attacks.
-Encouraging China to draw down the number of forces opposite Taiwan. The Commission recommends that Congress urge the administration to take additional steps to encourage the People’s Republic of China to demonstrate the sincerity of its desire for improved cross-Strait relations by drawing down the number of forces, including missiles, opposite Taiwan.
-Assessing the adequacy of U.S. export control policy in Hong Kong. The Commission recommends that Congress examine and assess the adequacy of U.S. export control policy for dual-use technology as it relates to the treatment of Hong Kong and the PRC as separate customs entities. The Commission further recommends that Congress urge the administration to consider ways to collaborate more closely with the authorities in Hong Kong in order to prevent the transshipment of controlled technologies from Hong Kong into the PRC.
- Monitoring the role of U.S. companies in Internet censorship. The Commission recommends that Congress continue to monitor and assess the development and progress of industry and other efforts to create and implement an effective code of ethics and best practices related to the operations of U.S. hightech firms in China and other authoritarian countries where Internet content and activity are controlled and monitored by the government.