The US recently imposed a 31% antidumping tariff on Chinese solar-panel makers (“green” energy devotees object to the tariff’s impact on American “green” energy prices, but those objections are irrelevant here), and of course the Chinese demur.
But we have to keep in mind the context within which the People’s Republic of China is engaging in the behaviors that required the tariff imposition, a context in which the PRC is moving aggressively and deliberately against American interests and security concerns.
The PRC already is actively prosecuting a cyberwar against us, routinely attempting to penetrate (and succeeding at an alarming rate) American companies’ information networks to gain access to and to steal those companies’ proprietary engineering data and, especially within our financial industry, to steal our companies’ fiscal data. Even more threateningly, the PRC routinely attacks, and too often penetrates, our Defense and State information networks, obtaining critical defense and political information. In conjunction with these cyber-attacks, the PRC, the primary global producer of rare-earth minerals, has implemented export quotas on those minerals—minerals that are at the heart of the computing and memory chips that our companies and our government use in their information networks, and on which our weapon systems depend.
Additionally, the PRC is actively looking to block efforts to inhibit Iran’s access to nuclear weapons—weapons which the Iranians will use against Israel and us, and which they will pass on to terrorist groups for use against Europe and us. Where impediments are implemented, anyway, the PRC actively sabotages them. This is what is behind their continued purchase of Iranian oil, rather than satisfying their needs elsewhere in the global market, and their purchase of Iranian minerals and organic chemicals. This is what is behind the PRC’s steady shipment of nuclear reactor parts to Iran. This also is what is behind their decision to inhibit efforts to curb northern Korea’s expansion of its own nuclear weapon establishment.
Moreover, the PRC is actively moving against American security and economic interests in the South China Sea, claiming that body for its own right up to the border waters of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of the Philippines, and the other nations that border on the Sea. This is where the PRC militarily engages the Philippine Navy as the latter moves to protect its own interests, and where the PRC militarily threatens Vietnam for objecting to Chinese grasping. Yet these moves are not aimed at those nations, but at the US, whose interest in open seas in that body (which contains a significant fraction of the world’s commercial shipping lanes) is made manifest by our global trade imperatives (and by those of all of our allies), and so must respond or see our influence shrink further.
Against this backdrop, the PRC is threatening a trade war if we don’t withdraw our newly implemented tariff.
We fear that if these tariffs are levied in full, Chinese companies may have no choice but to exit the US market[.]
We are “urged” to
…review the facts and make the right decision without being influenced by U.S. elections….
This action by the US has hurt cooperation between China and the US in the renewable energy sector, and hurt the US itself. We hope the US will appropriately resolve this issue.
The tariff must be an opening move, and the US must respond more aggressively and with greater initiative to the Chinese conflict.