Amid the news of massive economic reforms and increased international trade propositions on the part of the People’s Republic of China, The Hill reports exclusively of the White House’s proposals to make trade deals countering the effect of China’s new policies with loyal trade allies.
The White House and Congress are working closely, the report says, with Europe and Trans-Pacific countries to establish trade norms in both labor practices and tariff standards, so that domestic trade is not especially prized and state-owned businesses do not overshadow private corporations that may compete on a higher level in a fair market. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) tells the publication that he and the rest of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Trade would like to move “aggressively” to standardize international trade norms, something Chinese officials are allegedly “very nervous” about, as this would target some of China’s economic policies directly.
New free trade negotiations would especially hurt countries with heavy state involvement in their economies. A spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative told The Hill that “state-owned enterprise” in particular is an issue both the United States and the European Union are very concerned with, as well as isolationist economics that benefits domestic state-run industry and takes life out of the international market. Both are common practice with China, and will become more problematic as the country expands its trade partnerships. The new international deals would also try to standardize health and environmental regulations, both issues on which China has been accused of being aggressively negligent.
The Hill‘s report comes at a pivotal time for the Chinese economy. The 2013 year has been transformative for Chinese leadership with the rise to power of President Xi Jinping, seen by some as a reformer attempting to broaden China’s economic and military influence abroad. President Xi’s administration has announced broad reforms that would foster international investment in China and indicated a desire for a reduction in the blind worship of Maoist philosophy, which has brought him into tension with the far left of the Chinese Communist Party. He has also been building bridges with other countries–particularly the monarchies of the Arab peninsula–fomenting bonds with future trade partners that would potentially force these countries to choose between China and the United States as they open trade.
The current report is the second in a four-part series on China-U.S. relations by The Hill, in which author Julian Pecquet explores the tensions between the two countries in various geopolitical arenas. The first of the series highlighted the resistance to Chinese expansion in Congress, spearheaded by Senator Marco Rubio.