After decades of efforts to encourage cooperation in trade and development between the U.S. and China, the White House and Congress are looking to quietly reshape the nature of the trade policy and economic relationship with China.
Currently, a strategy that would limit China’s technological development is being pushed with new federal rules, executive orders and pending legislation all being aimed at reducing the influence of China’s high-tech sectors in the US. These policy changes are expected to continue in 2023. In many ways, the strategy forming right now is the result of three administrations reconsidering the policies followed regarding China. In some ways, they also mark an escalation of the moves made by former President Donald Trump who imposed tariffs and trade disputes against Beijing.
Clete Willems, the Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economics and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council during the Trump administration, said that there is a “sea change” in the way the administration is looking at China, with the Biden administration calling China a possible national security threat. This is a move away from the policies most commonly followed by administrations so far.
The Biden administration has called the new policy against China its “protect agenda,” and it is expected to start fully during the fall and winter. The Commerce Department has already issued new rules that Chinese firms will need to follow. These rules seek to limit Chinese firms from manufacturing computer chips. Other executive orders will target U.S. investments in China, and another will target the collection of data by Chinese companies in America.