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Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

Looting intellectual property

Question: Americans now view China as the biggest threat to U.S. economic and military interests. What leadership advice would you give to President Hu for creating a more positive political climate for U.S.-China relations?

I can't really advise the Chinese president, but I can advise ours.

We get nowhere with our objections to Chinese trade practices because we never do anything about them. The Chinese know that and believe that they can continue making short-term gains without cost.

Perhaps the worst of their practices is the looting of U.S. intellectual property (IP). Rather than protesting the value of their currency--which is, after all, a vital national interest--the United States each year should determine the value of stolen and extorted IP and during the next year impose a tariff on all imports from China sufficient to 150 percent of the value of that IP. Given its huge bilateral trade surplus with the U.S., China cannot afford a trade war with us, and would soon take seriously the necessity of a positive and effective response.

By Slade Gorton

 |  January 18, 2011; 10:24 AM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals , Government leadership , Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: China and the art of communication | Next: Expanding the center of all nations


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Having ignored endless entreaties from US Presidents, treasury secretaries and secretaries of State from Clinton presidency to Obama’s until now, President Hu is NOT going to heed any advice from any American on US-China relations.

China has continued its mercantilist trade policies with ever increasing trade surpluses and forex reserves ignoring all such entreaties. And US businesses are as much at fault as Chinese policies for such one way trade because they are hooked to huge profits that cheap Chinese products generate for them.

China has continued to prop up North Korean regime despite all the US entreaties against it.

China has continued to trade with Iran despite all the US entreaties against it.

US is whistling in the wind if it can advise China to bend on such issues when China has its own priorities about them. Bent on replacing US as super power, China could care less about such advice.

To use old Rooseveltian adage, Chinese President ‘spoke softly but carried a big stick’ during his US visit.

China’s rise to super power status to challenge US is a fitting monument to the much-celebrated foresight of Nixon-Kissinger to embrace China to counter Soviet Union in 1972 just as 9/11 attacks is a fitting monument to Reagan embrace of Islamic fundamentalists to counter Soviet Union in 1980s Afghanistan.

Posted by: martymartel3 | January 22, 2011 10:12 AM
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Absolutely correct! The Chinese have spent the last 20 years engaged in government sanctioned stealing of intellectual property from the international community. For example, time and again we've seen foreign companys welcomed into China only to see their production processes stolen out from underneath them. The thievery was then followed by that company quickly being welcomed out of the country when the company begins to object about the comandeering of their intellectual property. The Somali pirates are rank pikers when it comes to the Chinese.

Posted by: birddog2012 | January 21, 2011 3:56 PM
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