by Peter Schweizer for the Gatestone Institute - June 15, 2022
Previously, U.S. policy was that Americans were forbidden to invest in companies included in a "blacklist" of Chinese companies directly involved in China's military, and in producing applications used by the Communist regime to oppress its own people and threaten its neighbors. The new "answers" amount to a wholesale abandonment of a policy Americans of all political stripes supported.
It can also be seen as part of a long easing of economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, without obtaining any benefit for American prestige or negotiating leverage with China in return.
The 48 companies included on the initial Trump administration blacklist all work directly with the People's Liberation Army, Chinese intelligence, or otherwise provide artificial-intelligence products and services used by Beijing to deny the human rights of its Uighur minority.
While Hikvision and Sinochem's listed subsidiaries are not traded on major U.S. exchanges, they have been included in index funds carried by such giants as Vanguard and BlackRock.
There is no penalty for investors who continue to hold these stocks after the grace period, which ended in June 2022. All the order says is they may not buy any more shares, nor can they (after the grace period) sell what they have, without OFAC approval.
Moves like this should be offered only in negotiation with the Chinese over things important to American national security, and the peace and freedom of our allies. Giving up on it because it was "confusing" to international financial institutions is a sad excuse.
And it comes at a time when the Biden administration has also announced a tariff waiver on solar panels coming from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This action, explained as a "bridge" while domestic solar panel manufacturing ramps up, re-opens a previously closed door to China's dumping solar panels into the U.S. market.
At the same time, China is these days more belligerent, more aggressive, and more of a problem than ever. What exactly is the Biden administration getting for its quiet retreat from the tougher trade policies of the Trump administration?
Not a more conciliatory stance on Taiwan. China will "definitely not hesitate to start a war" over a Taiwan split, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe warned the U.S recently.
Not help for American business.
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Peter Schweizer, President of the Governmental Accountability Institute, is a Gatestone Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow and author of the new book, Red Handed: How American Elites are Helping China Win.
China remains a long-term strategic threat to the United States and policy towards it should reflect the US government understands the nature of that threat. Unilateral trade concessions do not do that. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)