A former United States trade representative said during a House hearing that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been engaged in an economic “war” with the U.S. for “decades.”
Former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who served during the Trump administration, made the comment during Wednesday’s hearing focusing on strategic competition between the United States and the CCP.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the Chinese Communist Party has been waging an economic war against the United States for decades,” Lighthizer said. “In this economic war, they use all the tools of classic mercantilist, plus many more.”
He added that China’s “entire economic policy” is designed to be a critical part of their “overall strategy of global dominance.”
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To achieve this, he said that China produces massive trade surpluses and obtains technology by “whatever means.”
“They force our companies to turn over technology to them, and when they don’t do it, they steal it,” Lighthizer said of China. “They are the number one source of industrial espionage in the world.”
Lamenting on the current state of this strategy, Lighthizer said that China appears to be “succeeding” while waging the economic war.
“Their GDP has gone from $1.2 trillion in 2000 when we granted them most favored nation treatment to $17 trillion now. A 14-fold increase and their technology sector has grown to the point that it challenges ours,” Lighthizer said.
Lighthizer said that the United States needs to “severely restrict” outbound investment to China.
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“This policy, I submit, is merely a softer version of exactly the policy that China has towards America. In a way, I’m just calling for reciprocity.” he said.
Wednesday’s hearing sought witness testimony from those who will outline the “pervasive scope of the CCP’s economic espionage in the U.S.”
The House China committee was approved in an overwhelming bipartisan vote in January to establish the Select Committee on China, which is designed to re-examine the country’s strategic competition with China.
“We spent decades passing policies that welcomed China into the global system,” McCarthy said. “In return, China has exported oppression, aggression and anti-Americanism. Today, the power of its military and economy are growing at the expense of freedom and democracy worldwide.”
McCarthy said there’s ‘bipartisan consensus’ that the era of trusting “communist China“ has ended.
The House voted 365-65 to approve the creation of the committee.
Fox News’ Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.
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