China is a growing threat to national security, U.S. companies and American workers, U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo says

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearings on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., Feb. year 2022.

Andrew Harnik | Reuters

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said it was now clear to US officials that China, once seen as a potential economic and political ally, had become an emerging threat to national security. , American companies and American workers.

“Over the past decade, China’s leaders have made it clear that they do not plan to pursue political and economic reform, but instead are pursuing a different vision of their country’s future, ‘ Raimondo said in a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “China’s realignment of priorities from economic growth to national security and its assertive military behavior means that we must rethink how we protect our national security interests. time to advance our interests in trade and investment.”

Raimondo said China’s leaders have made it clear over the past decade that “enhancing the role of society and the state economy”, “restricting free capital flows” and “decoupling in the technology sector of the future” is more important than politics and economics. to revolutionize.

“Perhaps most worrisome is that they are accelerating their efforts to combine economic and technology policies with their military ambitions,” Raimondo said. “And as the Chinese economy has grown in size and influence, it has also committed to using non-market trade and investment activities in ways that compel us, force us to protect American businesses and workers as well as those of our allies and partners. “

Raimondo said China is trying to game the global system by aligning Chinese representatives with international technology standard-setting bodies to promote the country’s values ​​and expand its influence. its. She said it undermines good governance, puts US companies at a disadvantage “and puts many of our fundamental values ​​at risk, such as the free flow of information and data privacy.” .”

Raimondo’s speech comes about two weeks after President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping about three hours before the G-20 summit in Indonesia, where he protest in the face of China’s growing aggression toward neighboring Taiwan. The leaders have fostered bilateral ties amid rising tensions over China’s threat to Taiwan.

Raimondo said stringent measures have been taken under the Science and CHIPS Act, signed into law by Biden in August, to ensure investments in research and innovation “never go to waste. benefit the Chinese military”. The administration is concerned that semiconductor chips used to manufacture military equipment could be used against the United States.

In October, the Biden administration imposed exports limitations about semiconductors made by American companies in China. The Commerce Department also issued restrictions on export permits for certain types of chips that can be used in modern weapons systems and barred U.S. citizens from working for China’s chip manufacturing industry.

Raimondo said the US government seeks to outdo China in shaping the global economy and protect against “a growing and emerging array of behavior” aimed at US workers and businesses. and pose a threat to national security.

“China today poses a growing set of challenges to our national security,” she said. “It’s true. They are deploying militaries in a way that undermines the security of our allies and partners and the free flow of global commerce.”

But Raimondo also acknowledged that the US benefits from a more than $750 billion annual trade market with China, the third-largest US export market. Exports support more than 750,000 jobs for Americans in industries large and small, she said.

“We want to continue to promote trade, to continue to promote investment. But in areas that are unlikely to undermine our interests, our values, our national security, our economic security. me, and use every tool in our toolbox to protect said Raimondo.


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