Will President Obama Get Tough with China’s President Xi?

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Unveils Letter to President Obama Urging Hard Line in Meetings This Week with Chinese President Xi Regarding National Security, Currency, and Forced Technology Transfer.
Obama and Romney Talked Tough on China During the Presidential Campaign. 
  • Last fall’s presidential campaign saw President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney competing to take the stronger line on China.  But as Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) President Scott Paul explains in a letter sent to the White House today, it’s time for President Obama to follow through on his tough talk when he meets with Chinese President Xi later this week.
  • Said Paul, “As Americans learned last week, China has hacked some of our most advanced weapons systems while also engaging in systematic cyber-espionage against our electric grids, water resources, and other critical infrastructure.  This is hardly the time to engage in the usual chit-chat with Beijing.  President Obama must stand up to China’s bullying and outrightbelligerent behavior.”
AAM Sent Letter to the White House This Morning.
  • In a letter sent to the president earlier today, Paul makes clear that “dialogue and traditional forms of engagement clearly are not working” to stem China’s violations of trade agreements and national security violations:
  • Paul wrote: “Your meetings with President Xi come at a critical time, with an increasing number of issues on the bilateral agenda that put America’s economic and national security at tremendous risk. The time for talk is over; the time for action is here.”
  • “China has infiltrated key U.S. commercial enterprises with the goal of obtaining vital economic and intellectual property information.”
  • “China must begin to play by the rules it agreed to when it joined the World Trade Organization; it must implement and adhere to the rule of law with regard to commercial activities, cyberspace, and human rights; and, it must become a responsible stakeholder in the world community.”
National Security.
  • AAM is particularly alarmed by the findings of a recent report by Brigadier Gen. John Adams (U.S. Army, retired) that reveals America’s military has grown heavily dependent on China for such key components as Hellfire missile propellant, Lanthanum for night-vision goggles, and high-tech magnets used in missiles, jet fighters, tanks, and satellite communications.
  • In his letter to the president, Paul says that “urgent action is needed to reduce our military’s dangerous dependence on foreign suppliers for the raw materials, parts, and finished products needed for our national defense.”
Voters Want Strong Action on China.
  • A strong stance on China is exactly what voters expect, Paul says.  An analysis of the 2012 presidential election reveals that the two major presidential campaigns focused heavily on manufacturing, outsourcing, and trade with China in their political advertising.  All totaled, the two campaigns made more than 975,000 mentions of such key issues as jobs, outsourcing, and trade in their TV advertising.  Additionally, AAM’s national polling has shown that 62 percent of voters say Washington needs to get tougher on China’s cheating.
  • “We’re reaching a really crucial point,” said Paul. “America’s trade deficit with China reached a record $315 billion last year.  We’ve lost high-tech jobs and industrial know-how to China.  Beijing is repositioning its military to confront American forces.  We’ve allowed much of our defense industrial base to move offshore, in some cases to China.  The American people get it.  But what part of this doesn’t flash ‘urgent’ for Washington?”
What’s Needed.
  • In his letter, Paul outlines key areas that President Obama must raise with President Xi, including: National security, supply chains, currency manipulation, trade law enforcement, and intellectual property rights.
Click here to read Paul’s op-ed this morning in ‘Real Clear Politics.’
The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a non-profit, non-partisan partnership formed in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers to explore common solutions to challenging public policy topics such as job creation, infrastructure investment, international trade, and global competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.americanmanufacturing.org.

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