On May 29, last Tuesday as of this writing, President Donald Trump announced a stiff tariff on Chinese goods. After attempting to work out a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump decided that China was not acting in good faith and that the tariffs would go forward. These new tariffs amount to a 25% tax on many Chinese goods. are aimed at combating what many say is an unbalanced trade situation between the U.S. and China. Many have accused China of mass intellectual property theft. Kamil Idris, the former Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, had this to say in his popular online blog:
According to Mr. Idris, China’s theft of US intellectual property amounts to at least 225 million dollars in total. To back this up, he cites the United States Trade Representative’s report from 2016, which gave 225 million as the low figure. It may be as high as 600 billion. Kamil Idris goes into a little more detail about China’s alleged thievery. He says they are accused of stealing trade secrets, counterfeiting popular brands, and using their vast markets as leverage in order to extract trade secrets from rivals. His opinion of Trump’s actions here is that obviously, the President didn’t feel that enough was being done to address these issues. He also points out that many nations have made these complaints against China.
Mr. Kamil Idris also points out that the President may simply be using these tariffs as a negotiating tactic, pointing out that he was willing to exclude Canada and Mexico from the new tariffs. I personally would agree with his assessment when he says that the renegotiation of NAFTA will be the determining factor in this matter.
However, there is the possibility of a trade war. China and some other countries are angry about the new tariffs, and are threatening tariffs of their own in response. It should be interesting to see how it plays out. Mr. Idris, while not fully taking any side, seems to be concerned that these tariffs are a little too heavy-handed, which is definitely a valid concern.
All in all, I enjoyed the article and I would recommend it to anyone researching this subject. It has some good, specific information that is not available elsewhere.