THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Thousands of major companies have banded together to sue the United States over its tariffs on China, adding fuel to the fire for the ever-rising tensions between the two superpowers. Tesla, Coca-Cola, Disney and Ford are among the near 3,500 multinational companies filing suit in reaction to the extra duties and increased prices on parts and products shipped from China.
China also said that U.S. bans on TikTok and WeChat went against the rules of the World Trade Organization. A Chinese representative who did not wish to be named commented on the matter, stating the U.S. tariffs “are clearly inconsistent with WTO rules, restrict cross-border trading services and violate the basic principles and objectives of the multilateral trading system.” The U.S. reiterated that a ban on Chinese apps was essential in order to protect user data from ending up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Neither U.S. nor Chinese trade representatives responded to Reuter’s request to go on record about the matter. The U.S. has also placed trade restrictions on Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), which is China’s largest computing chip manufacturing company.
The Trump administration’s trade deal with China promised to increase spending on U.S. goods by $200 billion through 2021. As of August, China has fallen short of holding up their end of the agreement as trade revenue sits at around half of what was pledged, with trade revenue sitting at $47.6 billion of their prorated $95 billion goal for the first eight months of 2020. The agreement was designed to cover the categories of agriculture, manufacturing and energy. The U.S. is also boosting sales of crude oil to China, which is forcing already overstocked Saudi Oil suppliers to look for new markets. The U.S.-China oil deal expires at the end of 2020, and several possible policy changes during this U.S. election year could impact the oil trade between the two superpowers.
China Ramps Up a War of Words, Warning the U.S. of Its Red Lines – New York Times – 10/5/2020
The soldiers run through the forest, through the surf, through smoke and flames, ready to die for the motherland. The video, one of a series that has recently appeared online in China, climaxes with the launch of nine ballistic missiles and a fiery barrage of explosions. “If war breaks out,” a chorus sings, “this is my answer.” Chinese propaganda is rarely subtle or particularly persuasive, but the torrent of bombast online and in state media in recent weeks is striking and potentially ominous.
China is winning the war for global tech dominance – The Hill – 10/5/2020
Later this year, we expect the release of the “China Standards 2035” plan, which aims to set global standards for evolving technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G over the next 15 years. With Chinese technology infrastructure dominating in so many countries, the 2035 plan will cement China’s standards as the norm and give its companies a significant, and perhaps permanent, business advantage over their American competitors.
Thousands of companies sue US over China tariffs – Financial Times – 10/4/2020
Coca-Cola, Disney and Ford are among the many large multinational corporations to launch legal proceedings, while US-based Abbott Laboratories, a leading manufacturer of coronavirus tests, has also filed a complaint. Lawyers say the companies, which include household brand names alongside small US manufacturers, have created an unprecedented caseload over a short period of time after lodging their complaints with the New York-based International Trade Court.
What Happens When China Leads the World – The Atlantic – 10/5/2020
The states China didn’t or couldn’t overrun were absorbed into the Chinese world through a system of diplomacy and trade that the emperors controlled. […] Whether such a tribute system really existed as a hard-and-fast or consistently applied foreign policy is debated among historians. But it is clear that the Chinese usually tried to foist their diplomatic norms and practices onto those who desired formal relations with China. Think of it as the rules of the game of foreign affairs in East Asia, dictated by China.