The Trump administration and Chinese counterparts plan to meet in order to discuss a possible agreement on trading. Both sides are hoping to achieve different goals by using the same rationale–national security. Although, by invoking the national securities concern is described by trade experts as the “nuclear option” of trade.
Currently, the Trump administration is hoping to deter China from producing as much steel. Although, this situation is still under investigation by the administration, Trump’s advisers say the overproduction puts U.S. workers at a major disadvantage, thus putting the American steel industries out of business and therefore compromising financial security.
However, the Chinese are using national security for another reason, which is defending the cybersecurity law that came into effect June 1, 2017.
U.S. companies that operate in China fear that the cybersecurity law, which requires all companies to store their data within China’s borders and share their program source codes with the government, will expose American companies to potential intellectual property theft.
Trade experts conclude, if more countries are able to break rules for national security, the international trading system could fall apart.
However, if any more countries continue using national security as an excuse to restrict trade, then interference with the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place.
The U.S. wants to reach a permanent compromise on the steel production in China, however, the cybersecurity law remains the largest obstacle.
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Jeanette Smith
The Washington Post: China and the U.S. are both going for trade’s nuclear option
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