Investing in China Is Not a Good Deal
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
January 17, 2020
New York Times
Instead of holding China accountable for exploiting American capital markets, “phase one” of the deal will make sure American capital continues to directly fund China’s state-run economy. American financing will increase to state-owned enterprises like China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, which produces about 80 percent of the Chinese Navy’s main equipment, and Hikvision, whose products Beijing uses to surveil Uighurs in Xinjiang.
[One] appalling example of how good this part of the deal is for China is the provision authorizing American financial companies to purchase Chinese nonperforming loans. These are loans that the borrower is struggling to pay off. This makes them a favorite of Chinese state-owned enterprises and other companies with large capital expenditures but little revenue growth expected in the near term.
The rising number of nonperforming loans has been a problem in China’s economy; last year ended with almost the highest percentage of loans outstanding in over a decade. President Trump’s tariffs were having a real effect on the Chinese economy. It brought its leaders to the table to deal with vital issues like China’s theft of American intellectual property and its blocking of market access for American manufacturers. But now this part of the “deal” with China throws open the gates to American capital. They now get to keep up their exploitation, with our money.
Policymakers in Washington, who were once naïve about China’s exploitation of our capital markets and the American-led global order, are now giving the financial relationship between the United States and Beijing the scrutiny it rightly deserves. For instance, the bipartisan Equitable Act, which I introduced, would delist Chinese companies that do not comply with American laws and regulations for financial transparency and accountability from United States exchanges.
As the Trump administration negotiates “phase two,” we must grapple with this challenge by enacting a pro-American industrial and financial policy that puts American capital to work for American workers, their skills and our development.
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