Pentagon Report: A Comprehensive Response Needed to Counter Chinese Economic Rise

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

President Trump is really opening it up on China. His administration announced $50 billion in tariffs targeted at industries the U.S. government argues have unfairly advanced with the help of stolen American intellectual property (and then he threatened an extra $100 billion after China responded with politically targeted tariffs of its own).

This all followed the administration’s Section 232 investigations into steel and aluminum imports that resulted in significant tariffs on those metals. After exemptions to key trading partners were handed out, these tariffs are widely regarded to target China.

There has been significant criticism of the way all this stuff has been announced – some, like representatives of the agriculture industry, even feigned surprise it rolled out all – and the overall strategy hasn't been crystal clear. But it's certainly clear that Washington, Trump’s China-focused tariffs or not, now considers economic competition with China a big deal.

Case in point: A Pentagon white paper urging a comprehensive government response to counter Beijing’s own long-term plans. The report’s authors downplayed its role in the Trump tariff debate in an interview with Defense One, but the paper has been read among key lawmakers on Capitol Hill. One senator even cited it while arguing for new legislation “to allow the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, to restrict Chinese investment into U.S. tech companies, particularly startups,” Defense One noted.

Among the report’s main findings:

  • China is executing a multi-decade plan to transfer technology to increase the size and value-add of its economy, currently the world’s 2nd largest. By 2050, China may be 150 percent the size of the United States.
     
  • China is investing in the critical future technologies that will be foundational for future innovations both for commercial and military applications: artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, financial technology and gene editing. The line demarcating products designed for commercial vs. military purposes is blurring with these new technologies.
     
  • The U.S. does not have a comprehensive policy or the tools to address this massive technology transfer to China.
     
  • The U.S. government does not have a holistic view of how fast this technology transfer is occurring, the level of Chinese investment in U.S. technology, or what technologies we should be protecting.

These are enormous problems to fix. Michael Brown, one of the paper’s authors, told Defense One an effective response would itself need to be huge:

“The Chinese government benefits from its State control to direct combined resources of business, government and academia. China pulls all of these sectors together to make significant advances in science and technology. Since we’re in a technology race with China, the U.S. needs to be much more proactive in both making a larger investment in science and technology as well as calling for ‘moonshots’ to bring together business, government and academia to achieve specified national innovation priorities ... The real answer here is we have to make a much bigger investment. One of the things we could do is set some national innovation priorities…we’ve got to recognize that one of our adversaries is doing that frequently.”

Defense One went on to note that the budget for military research and development is up, but (just as important) for science research elsewhere is not, and that “massive and growing budget deficits portend a dim future for robust research and development spending.”

Read the very interesting Defense One writeup here, and find a copy of the Pentagon report here.

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work