Anti-Trump Sen. Elizabeth Warren Decries China’s Unfair Trade Practices

AP Photo
AP Photo

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said the United States should confront China’s unfair trade practices.

Warren told reporters during a visit to Beijing that U.S. trade policy with China has been misguided for decades and that U.S. policymakers were finally addressing the issue.

The South China Morning Post reported:

Warren’s visit comes as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to implement trade tariffs on more than U.S. $50 billion worth of Chinese goods designed to punish the country over U.S. allegations that Beijing systematically misappropriated American intellectual property.

The Massachusetts Democrat and Trump foe, who has been touted as a potential 2020 presidential candidate despite rejecting such speculation, said U.S. trade policy needed a rethink and that she was not afraid of tariffs.

After years of mistakenly assuming economic engagement would lead to a more open China, the U.S. government was waking up to Chinese demands for U.S. companies to give up their know-how in exchange for access to its market, Warren said.

“The whole policy was misdirected,” Warren told reporters on Saturday. “We told ourselves a happy-face story that never fit with the facts.“

“Now U.S. policymakers are starting to look more aggressively at pushing China to open up the markets without demanding a hostage price of access to U.S. technology,” Warren said.

“Warren discussed trade issues and North Korea with senior Chinese officials, including Liu He, the vice-premier for economic policy; Yang Jiechi, a top diplomat; and Minister of Defence Wei Fenghe,” the Post reported.

As Breitbart News’s John Carney reported, in addition to the tariffs, the Trump administration is also ordering the Treasury Department to formulate restrictions on Chinese investments in U.S. companies, according to senior White House adviser Everett Eisenstadt.

“U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will also initiate an action against China at the World Trade Organization for violations of international trade laws,” Breitbart News reported.

“The end objective of these actions is to get China to modify its unfair trade practices,” Eisenstadt said in a briefing with reporters.

“The U.S. had a trade deficit in goods of $370 billion last year, according to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro,” Breitbart News stated. “The administration estimates that this translates into around 2 million lost jobs.”

“China has sought to gain access to intellectual property, and cutting-edge technology developed by U.S. business through such wrongful practices as systemic, government-driven investment in U.S. companies, unreasonable requirements and limiting restrictions intended to pressure U.S. firms, and cyber-enabled intrusions,” Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

According to Breitbart News:

The U.S. began an investigation into China’s trade practices focussed on intellectual property, known as a Section 301 investigation, last year, after talks between the Trump administration and Chinese leadership failed to produce meaningful reforms of Chinese policies. That investigation concluded that China has forced U.S. companies to hand over technology to Chinese companies and partner with Chinese companies in order to obtain access to Chinese markets. In addition, the investigation found a concerted effort by the Chinese government to obtain U.S. technology by acquiring U.S. firms, according to Eisenstadt.

Warren also made stops in Japan and South Korea, the Post wrote.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

.