NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday urging the president to develop and implement a post-pandemic strategy regarding the U.S. relationship with China.
Why it matters: As the letter notes, China has signed new trade and investment agreements with a variety of nations in Europe and Asia over the past few months, increasing pressure on the United States to engage in a thoughtful and effective way to preserve America’s influence worldwide. But the U.S. relationship with China is also both delicate and complex, requiring the U.S. to challenge China in some areas even as we work to collaborate in others.
A combative adversary: “For manufacturers, China has long been a hub for unfair industrial subsidies and government-fueled overcapacity in areas like steel and aluminum that distort global markets. China continues to promote discriminatory industrial policies, forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft that harm manufacturers and workers in the United States. Increasingly, China is also using global institutions and its economic influence to build alliances that challenge American interests, human rights and democratic values.”
An important partner: “Yet, China will also be a key player in tackling global challenges that matter for manufacturers, from COVID-19 to climate change. And China is a major destination for U.S. exports, with nearly $90 billion in manufactured goods going there in 2020, placing it behind only Canada and Mexico in the ranks of our biggest trade partners and supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.”
The big picture: “America’s strategy must reflect the realities of the moment and the future: as we take stock of new post-pandemic realities, China will be a necessary partner, a fierce economic competitor and a major rival challenging American global influence.”
Read the whole thing for a list of the NAM’s policy proposals.