US manufacturers urge Biden to deploy tougher China strategy

Published Wed, Mar 17, 2021 · 11:25 PM

[WASHINGTON] The leading US manufacturers group urged President Joe Biden to "rapidly develop and publicly release" a new strategy that strengthens the American economy's ability to compete with China.

Accusing Beijing of promoting "discriminatory industrial policies, forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft that harm manufacturers and workers" in the US, the National Association of Manufacturers called on the Biden administration in a letter on Wednesday to come up with a fresh approach.

"The new strategy must include all available tools, including targeted bilateral engagement, assertive US leadership in global institutions and close, coordinated engagement with allies and partners," the group, which counts 14,000 companies in every industrial sector as members, wrote.

"Strategic use of legislative and enforcement tools will be critical to pressure China to change its economic behavior and to level the playing field." The letter comes as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are scheduled to meet with Yang Jiechi, a member of the the Communist Party's Politburo, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday evening and Friday in Anchorage, Alaska.

It's the first in-person, high-level meeting between officials from both countries since Biden took office.

The US is still developing its China strategy and will use the meeting to further inform the trajectory for the relationship of the world's two largest economies, a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday. The goal for the meeting is a frank exchange of views, but it won't conclude in a joint statement, a second official said.

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The manufacturers group acknowledged that any new strategy must recognize that China is a "necessary partner" in the post-pandemic world even as it challenges American interests and fiercely competes with the US economically.

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