Trade Reciprocity

When the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US refused to approve a deal between the People’s Republic of China’s Ant Financial Services Group and MoneyGram International Inc, wherein the former would acquire the latter, Anjani Trivedi in a Wall Street Journal article lamented the demise of “deal making” between American companies and PRC companies.

Beijing has softened its attitude somewhat recently, relaxing its foreign-investment policies to lure more capital into specific sectors, including financial services. With the CFIUS decision on Ant and MoneyGram, it’s clear such moves aren’t going to be met with much reciprocity.


For investors, the takeaway is that the “China bid” that has helped boost global asset prices this century may be gone for good….

Leave aside the artificial hysteria of “gone for good.”  The PRC’s “moves” are empty rhetoric, as their limited nature demonstrate. Further, such “moves” can only be tokens as long as the PRC demands that partnership with Chinese companies; or transfer of technology, including proprietary tech; or PRC-run back doors into foreign business’ software be accepted by the foreign business as the price of doing business in the PRC.  Such “moves” can only be tokens so long as PRC acquisitions of US companies are aimed not at strengthening a business but at “acquiring” US technology.  Such “moves” can only be tokens so long as Chinese companies are arms of the PRC’s government.

There’s nothing with which to reciprocate.

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