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House Sounds Alarm: America “Economically Unprepared” For China Conflict

Posted on Friday, December 15, 2023
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by Andrew Shirley
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32 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Shirley

US one hundred dollar and China Yuan bills with calculator

On Tuesday, the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) released an alarming new report highlighting glaring deficiencies in the United States’ preparation for economic competition and conflict with China.

The House committee, which was formed by Republicans following their victory in the 2022 midterms, has been one of the few sources of bipartisan consensus this Congress. Although there have still been some political disputes, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) has largely succeeded in unifying both parties behind the committee’s actions and reports.

This latest report, titled Reset, Prevent, Build: A Strategy to Win America’s Economic Competition with the Chinese Communist Party, was a joint product of Republicans and Democrats on the committee, with both Gallagher and Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) stressing the importance of urgent action.

 The report reveals that, since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, the Chinese Communist Party has embarked on a “multi-decade campaign” to simultaneously decouple China from the global economy while making the United States more dependent on China. According to the report, this strategy has been an even greater success than previously thought, and America must “chart a new path” to counter China’s advances before it’s too late.

The decision to permit China to join the World Trade Organization in 2001 was controversial and divisive. Business leaders, some conservatives, and blue-collar workers were afraid the move would allow a flood of cheap Chinese products to enter Western markets and make the United States economically dependent on China.

But establishment elites in D.C. reassured Americans that the measure would actually make China more dependent on the global community. They predicted that China would become interconnected economically with the United States, creating a new Chinese middle class that would overthrow the communist government and give way to a new democratic-capitalist China.

As the report acknowledges, the opposite happened. China formed international conglomerates backed by CCP money to sell products to the West, enriching and further entrenching China’s authoritarian government. Beijing was able to take advantage of the West’s capitalist economies to benefit itself while continuing to oppress the Chinese people and sow chaos and discord around the world. Initiatives like Beijing’s “Belt and Road” project have spread debt-trap diplomacy to dozens of developing nations and allowed China to expand its economic and political influence around the globe.

Even worse for the United States, within a decade of joining the World Trade Organization, almost four million jobs left America for China; nearly three-quarters of which were in manufacturing. Cheap Chinese goods continue to flood U.S. markets and undermine domestic industries.

The report makes it clear that addressing America’s disadvantage with China will take sustained effort and a comprehensive approach.

The strategy the House China committee recommends is structured around three key pillars, the first of which is to “reset the terms of our economic relationship with the People’s Republic of China.”

The policy proscriptions for that “reset” – more than 130 in all – constitute the report’s most sweeping set of recommendations that would have far-reaching effects for the American economy if implemented. The report states outright that “the PRC’s economic system is incompatible with the World Trade Organization and undermines U.S. security.”

Specifically, the report calls for higher tariffs on Chinese goods, more limitations on U.S. investments in China, and further restrictions or outright bans on U.S. market access for Chinese companies like TikTok and certain drone manufacturers.

The second pillar calls on lawmakers and private industry to “stem the flow of U.S. capital and technology fueling the PRC’s military modernization and human rights abuses.” Specifically, that means more robust action to stop Chinese intellectual property theft, estimated to be worth up to $600 billion every year.

But as the report notes, this will mean weaning American enterprise off the cheap availability of Chinese labor and the high demand for American technology. Turning back China on these fronts likely also will involve granting greater influence over international business to government agencies like the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The third pillar, entitled “invest in technological leadership and build collective economic resilience in concert with allies,” outlines domestic steps America can take to spur the innovation necessary to stay ahead of China and prepare the U.S. economy for a potential rapid decoupling in the event of a future military conflict. The House panel warns that many major banks and financial institutions likely couldn’t withstand the hit from sudden loss of access to China in the event of a war, calling on the Federal Reserve to begin “stress tests” in the immediate future.

Notably, many of the policies the report recommends are identical to those advanced by former President Donald Trump. Although it seems unlikely that Democrats will ever give Trump his due, there appears to be an emerging consensus in Washington that Trump’s tough-on-China stance was indeed the correct approach to dealing with Beijing. That could become a major issue as the 2024 presidential race kicks into full swing.

As the report acknowledges, there are significant challenges ahead for the United States. New avenues of trade that circumvent Chinese supply lines, new factories to replace Chinese labor, and new trade partners to replace Chinese demand will take years to develop, and the transitions will be difficult for the U.S. economy.

But as lawmakers from both parties now recognize, the cost of doing nothing could be far greater.

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
4 months ago

Unprepared economically?
It’s more like unprepared PERIOD.
(But, then again, look who’s steering the ship)

Jeri
Jeri
4 months ago

As much as Americans want to ignore this and pretend it does exist, it is real. Some, like my household, will do what we can to stay aware and prepare. Many will pretend and ignore. Unfortunately they will cry “if only I had known” and turn to those who are prepared. I am beyond exhausted by people like this.

John Bass
John Bass
4 months ago

We’ve known all these things for decades but have still done absolutely squat, nada, nothing, the big goose egg, zilch about any of it. A good place to start would be to put some effort into trying to stop the theft of our intellectual property and technology. Decoupling ourselves from China and bring back American jobs wouldn’t hurt any either.

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

Gee, this was obvious when they let the Chinese into the WTO in the first place. Even I figured that out years ago, it couldn’t be that Chinese money paid under the table to our illustrious politicians had anything to do with this.

Joe McHugh
Joe McHugh
4 months ago

Finally! ………. Some of the American leaders are recognizing the unwise dependence of Americans upon Chinese manufactured products. The solution? As the article stated increase all tariffs on Chinese made items. They must be increased to the point that Chinese made products will have the same cost that American manufactured ones would have.
However, the tariffs must increase at a controlled level as new American factories are built to meet customer demand. The Chinese cannot counter new American tariffs because they don’t buy much American trade. The American industries such as the agriculture farms would need temporary support when China tries to fight the tariff war with their own tariffs. By the way, all farm lands owned by Chinese companies would have to be converted to private American ownership through forced sales at realistic appraised values.
Except for things like rubber and titanium, America has just about everything that it needs for self-sufficiency. We can import any raw material that we might need from other countries.
There would be two main results from the necessary tariff war, i.e. higher prices, and more job creation at the new factories. We, as a society, have been spoiled by artificially low prices on the junk made in China. It’s long past time that we return to more domestic manufacturing, and a reasonable trade situation with other countries that actually honor their trade agreements.

John Cochrane
John Cochrane
4 months ago

Thank you! Great editorial. Yes. We must take action immediately to avert this dependence on our ENEMY China.

GMA
GMA
4 months ago

Horrible what the Clinton/Obama’s have done to America…Biden-Obama are relentless for what they are continuing to do. We, the people, are suffering!…

Lou
Lou
4 months ago

Slick Willie aka Bill Clinton was the BIG advocate for the ChiComs to join the WTO and Dubya just went along with the flow. Wonder if Clinton was compromised because of the Chinese money/influence during his 2nd term. American business got sucker-punched with the allure of lower wage workers being pushed by “establishment elites in D.C.” nka “globalists”, or elites whose end goal is power/control over populations. and these elites were not stopped by our elected representatives in the Congress. Notice how this House Select Committee report does not name anyone in our government who created and those who perpetuate this current sinister predicament. Wonder why?

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
4 months ago

How’s that whole “democrazation through capitalism” of China going? Gee. “I told you so!” is the only thing I have to say about this…

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
4 months ago

Any time that they want, the ChiComs can cut off most of our medicines which they produce. Or the batteries for JoeBlow’s EVs. Or most of our TVs and other appliances. We need to start a return to AMERICAN manufacturing if we can find enough people who aren’t busy talking on TikTok or other sewers!

Edgar Baldwin
Edgar Baldwin
4 months ago

Maybe if they STOP the liar in chief from giving everything to Ukrane….follow the money

Will
Will
4 months ago

Everyone thinks this is all Bidens doin yes he the president, but Obama and Sorros is running the country along with the corrupt Biden administration wich happens to be Obama ‘s administration when he was president. Yes this is all Obama he did the same thing when he was in office . Any way you look at it they all need to be thrown in prison for treason period.

Michael Schaffer
Michael Schaffer
4 months ago

Mr Trump is far too vulnerable to attack. He should be surrounded by antiballistic panels anytime he speaks on an outdoor stage. China wants him gone. Democrats want him gone. The deep state wants him gone. He has many more enemies than JFK had. If they can’t put him in jail, they will stop him another way.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
4 months ago

In the meantime, all you people flock to wal-mart and buy the communest goods. Do without if you can., Kyle L.

Glen
Glen
4 months ago

Some politicians might recognize the need to do something, but do we really think they will? or do the majority of the DC SWAMP love the chicom money too much? Time to label them for what they are — TRAITORS!!!

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
4 months ago

DC elites believe we have no enemies. Not China, not Russia, not Iran. They could have a gun pointed at them and they would think its funny. They cannot understand that much of the world will slit the throat of any US citizen ( not American whatever that word means) in a heartbeat. I prefer to distrust any dictatorship.

Ladybug
Ladybug
4 months ago

Both the problem and the answer is BIDEN! His overspending needs to be reigned in and our military has been neglected. Impeach the problem and do not let him remain in office!!! Kamala will not last one day due to inept abilities. Neither knows what they are doing. Biden is not just demented but also corrupt and for some reason he HATES America and all she stands for. He has made us sitting ducks!!! IMPEACH IMPEACH IMPEACH!!!!!

KS
KS
4 months ago

It all goes back to Nixon and Kissinger who recognized mainland China (CCP) as the legitimate government of China. Let’s put the blame on the REAL culprits who started it all! From then on it’s been a steady downhill slide for US economy, while at the same time boosting the CCP economy and putting them in the current position of them holding the rest of the world’s economies hostages. When you think of yourself as the Big banana, and starting to dictate to other countries and impose selfish gains over what is good, this is what happens! It’s a dog eat dog world out there and the slightest vulnerability the enemy sees, they will use it to their advantage! As it stands now, China has an upper hand only because we gave it to them, we allowed it to happen!

Jackie
Jackie
4 months ago

I think I am learning that there is no hope for America if war comes from any other country!! Our military has been attacked by the wokism and the cancel culture and liberalism so I’m not sure our boys have enough stamina to fight the good fight!! They have to be sure they have the right high heels on to match their uniform and will they have time to get their makeup on right before the battle??? I’m not sure our technology is up to snuff either!!! The military seems to be more concerned about appearances than the reality of war!!!

anna hubert
anna hubert
4 months ago

Rip van Winkle woke up The question is will he do the job or just the usual blather what should or must be done but never happens

Dan Klingberg
Dan Klingberg
4 months ago

Most people are too busy paying their bills to worry about country/international problems. The politicians will handle all the problems-like Joe (and his kid-Hunter).
In my 70+ years, I have never seen such an inept, corrupt man. I hope he is impeached and thrown in jail. Good riddance!

David Millikan
David Millikan
4 months ago

No surprise since Dictator Beijing biden’s Illegal and Unconstitutional lockdowns shutting down our country so he can play political power games by destroying the United States any way he can. And the whole time bowing down to Communist China running to their economic aid.
See how fast he ran to San Francisco (first time the city had ever been cleaned up for Communist China flags waving in the streets in a U.S. city) to help his Communist buddies at American taxpayers expense to bail out Communist China. Dictator Beijing biden NEVER ran that fast to protect the United States interests or our economy. Not to mention actually cleaning up a city for political gain.
He just destroys our country and economy instead and has the FAKE news say the economy is doing great under bidenomics. We ALL know the TRUTH that the American economy SUCKS with his constant INFLATION and destruction of our Energy Independence. And now he wants to steal our farmland for his Global Warming lie.
Don’t worry though. Dictator Beijing biden will pump more of our tax dollars to save Communist China’s economy before he ever protects ours. Just look at the cost of his Illegal Alien Terrorist Invasion on the economy and our Sovereignty alone.

Casey C Matt
Casey C Matt
4 months ago

Weening American enterprise off of cheap Chinese labor? Look at the gall of the United States having allowed millions of invading migrant to flood our country with no skills other than perhaps performing “cheap labor”,
Maybe if the United States would stop with the everywhere wars and simply compete with other nations, we might just succeed in again becoming a competing country on an industrial level. So instead how do we compete with China? Threats and name calling while our young people have become so coddled they are refusing to go into an office setting to perform essentially paper pushing jobs and never consider anything on an industrial level.
I think the mans name was Walt Kelly who came up with the line, “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

Rich
Rich
4 months ago

Let’s see….who’s more stupid, the Americans or the Communist Chinese? Ha ha ha ha ha. And we can’t even wean ourselves from buying all the Chinese made stuff that has helped make them what they are. Maybe our second language taught in school should be Chinese.

Casey C Matt
Casey C Matt
4 months ago

Its just like America to start screaming for conflict when they cannot or will not merely compete.
You want big industry in the US? We cannot even get young workers to agree to come back to the office after staying home from the ginned up hysteria called Covid. They refuse to come back to the office to push paper or enter data. Does anyone truly believe that todays American young people will flock in droves to perform factory labor on assembly lines? It will NEVER happen.
I remember when our industry leaving for China was a good thing as our leaders touted America then becoming a “service backed economy”. Well, here we are and the service is lousy.
Im afraid this is another lost “battle”. We are slothful cattle and other countries peoples are not and for this we blame those other peoples?

Gofer
Gofer
4 months ago

This garbage has been worsening ever since we first allowed our businesses to send their factories to foreign countries, with China being the worst to send to. BUT, you can’t talk big business and the shareholders out of selling out to anyone who’ll ( supposedly ) give them bigger profits. Those bigger profits haven’t amounted to lower costs to the consumer, but rather our costs for things we need, has steadily grown more expensive. We need to bring our factories HOME and somehow curtail or slow down the greedy companies and shareholders, who are already richer than the rest of us. We have whole cities that’ve lost their a$$es and the whole economy of their cities, to foreign “investment”. It’s turn into biting us in the a$$ instead of helping our economy. We’ve gotta get Trump back into office for at a minimum of two consecutive terms, to save ourselves, or at least get us on better footing. But, between the Green New Deal, the United Nations, Schwabb and his New World Order… we have one heck of a fight on our hands already.

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