Trump Administration Positions for a Tougher Stance in U.S.-China Trade

As both the American and Chinese trade teams digest commitments made during President Donald Trump’s dinner meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit, it’s still unclear what exactly will come from the 90-day pause on tariff increases.

However, news that United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading point for this next phase of U.S.-China trade negotiations suggests that the Trump administration is renewing its commitment to ending China’s unfair trade practices, which have long gone unchecked.

Lighthizer has an extended history of criticizing Chinese trade, opposing the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

This November a 53-page report released by the Office of the United States Representative detailed the unfair trade and intellectual property policies that advantage Chinese industry and found that these practices are ongoing despite China’s promises:  

“As the evidence gathered in this update demonstrates, China fundamentally has not altered its acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation, and indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months.”

Just how much Lighthizer will be able to accomplish in this short period of time during which trade talks will take place is unclear – resolving over 20 years of unfair trade practices over the course of 90 days sounds tricky, to say the least --- but he’s pulled off tight deadlines before. 

When the clock was running out for a new treaty to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, Lighthizer managed to deliver the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which was signed during the G20 Summit and will make its way through Congress.

So here’s hoping that Lighthizer pulls through again, keeping the U.S. trade team on course to hold China accountable and put an end to the trade cheating that has so harmed our nation’s workers and communities.

***

Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

What's Wrong with GM?

Corporations’ stranglehold on our economy was put on further display last week, when General Motors announced it was laying off up to 14,000 workers across North America.

On a special episode of “State of the Unions,” co-host Tim Schlittner talked with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell, a lifelong UAW member, about what the layoffs say about the state of the economy as a whole:

Tim Schlittner: “Reading the CEO’s statement, Mary Barra, where she says this is about making GM agile, resilient and profitable, then thinking about all the stock buybacks, thinking about some of the incentives they got in the tax law that just passed. Mary Barra made about $22 million last year—that’s 295 times more than the GM median employee—my feeling is like this is crap. That’s just a crap excuse for hoarding more at the top, at the expense of the workers that make GM go. Am I wrong to say that?”

Brad Markell: “I think there are a couple issues there from my point of view. Mary Barra makes a lot of money and executive pay is out of control in this country. Part of what’s the problem with executive pay is how is it incentivized? It’s not that Mary Barra making $22 million is going to kill the company. It’s what does she do to get there, right? What does she do to make those cuts and—and those things that Wall Street wants to see because so much of it’s stock options—so instead of playing to the real economy, you’re playing to Wall Street. That’s a problem.”

Tim Schlittner: “And the stock went up that day. So Wall Street saw this decision to close these plants and basically took that as a positive sign, which shows to me an economy that is completely out of whack.”

Take a listen to the full episode here.

***

More ...

Who Really Pays for Tax Cuts?

Who Really Pays for Tax Cuts?