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Businesses China United States Politics

Anti-China Bill Being Softened After US Companies Complain (reuters.com) 71

Proposed legislation in Congress aimed at preventing China from acquiring sensitive technology is being softened after protests by big U.S. companies who fear a loss in sales, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. From the report: Two bills in the House of Representatives and Senate would broaden the powers of the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in hopes of stopping Chinese efforts to acquire sophisticated U.S. technology. The bipartisan legislation has the support of President Donald Trump's administration. "We are concerned that it vastly expands the scope and jurisdiction (of CFIUS)," said Nancy McLernon, chief executive of the Organization for International Investment, a group that represents global companies with U.S. operations. Given the alarm that the legislation has caused, Senator John Cornyn's staff is drafting changes to address industry concerns, according to three sources. Cornyn's office did not respond to a request for comment.
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Anti-China Bill Being Softened After US Companies Complain

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you look objectively and strategically at the moves Trump has made regarding China, he has done nothing but help them.
    Whether getting out of TPP, his erratic behavior towards allies, cutting overseas funding, radically dividing the US politically, etc, etc.
    Trump has created a huge power and influence vacuum that the Chinese are rapidly asserting control over.

    The isolationist view of those who put Trump into power will inevitably lead the US closer to conflict with China, or even Russia.

    For all his anti-C

  • Well, not officially. Yet.
    • and the US owes them over a trillion dollars.

      I'm not going to cherry pick any stats to point fingers at what is to blame, because our deficit (and debts) have been increasing for many years. A recession doesn't help, neither does funding wars. The reality is that we can never pay back our debts, and it's unlikely that those we owe money to can effectively collect it. But it can give them leverage against us, and there's not much we can do about it.

  • Must be a hard thing to balance the corporation's interests with the paranoia machine from the extreme right and military patriots.
    Notice how the public interest is nowhere to be found in that equation.

    • Yes. The "swamp draining" continues unabaited.

      • Re:Heh... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gtall ( 79522 ) on Thursday February 08, 2018 @12:42PM (#56089717)

        There was no swamp, that was merely el Presidente Tweetie ginning up yet another fake antagonist for himself. He did a bank shot off the Republican view that the Federal government exists for itself. The Federal government looks the way it does because the American people want it that way. ePT cannot exist without straw men to get his followers excited about...it is just typical despot behavior done over the centuries the world over. No imagination, no class.

        • "Swamp" is just shorthand for "people [in Washington DC] who disagree with him." If he gains their approval, they're no longer the swamp. When he does something daft and they point out as much, they're part of the swamp again.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Uh. No. Swampies is well-known klan slang for black people.

            Trump plans to drain all the black people from around the D.C. area so whitey feels safe again.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's not really about paranoia. It is people that are so insecure that they need to shit on someone to feel good about themselves.
      This leads to posturing and playing "tough guy".
      The problem is that it only works if the other party plays along and let you have your moment Trump could easily have gotten away with the posturing if he just gave China something with the other hand, but Trump is a bully, not a negotiator.
      When China says: OK, then I'll take my ball and leave, Trump just falls apart.
      He doesn't know

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It is no longer paranoia when it becomes known that the conspiracy that was merely suspected, is discovered to be actually occurring. So, in case you were wondering; yes, China is devoting substantial resources in maintaining their active development program to exploit *any* deficiency; in any country, including, and especially focused on the USA.

  • by dicobalt ( 1536225 ) on Thursday February 08, 2018 @11:02AM (#56089105)
    How are they supposed to compete if they aren't permitted $2/hr labor? Why should corporations pay a fair wage? What they really need is a resurgence of slavery in the American south. Think about the poor stockholders trying to send their children to college while owning 3 SUVs commuting 60 miles a day, a $250-500K house, and a nice fishing boat. Those poor stockholders need more profits from $2/hr labor provided by totally uneducated people who have no idea how economics works and are banned by law to represent themselves! THINK OF THE POOR STOCKHOLDERS!
    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday February 08, 2018 @11:10AM (#56089149)

      You joke, but there have already been voices that we should do away with compulsory education and child labor laws.

      And yes, I mean in the US.

      • I starting working when I was 12 which is completely legal in the US if it's a family owned business.

        There is nothing wrong with learning responsibility and doing a little hard work when you are young so long as it doesn't interfere with education.

        My kids didn't work that young but you better believe I had chores for them to do.

        • There is nothing wrong with learning responsibility and doing a little hard work when you are young so long as it doesn't interfere with education.

          This is the crucial part here. Because the idea is that you don't really need that much of an education if you're only supposed to be working menial jobs. And when you're poor and can't afford education, why would you want to better yourself anyway, go work, serf!

          • Working in the metal shop with my Dad taught me one very important thing. I wanted to work smarter not harder. My father was constantly finding new ways and even making new kinds of tools to do the job faster and easier. His best hope for me was that I wouldn't be part of the family business and he told me frequently.

            Which is why I got an education and and don't work in the family business. That business is closed now and all of my siblings went to college and do something else.

  • The Chinese technology sector is rapidly catching up to the US. All a ban like this will accomplish is to make China more self sufficient.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It'll also ensure that the US maintains a trade deficit with China... You want to close the trade deficit, well you've got to sell things that China wants. See the disaster that happened when the government banned Intel Xeon chips exports for Chinese supercomputers.

      What happened, did Chinese supercomputing industry collapse? Nope, we forced China to design their own chips and they now hold the top 2 positions in the Top 500 supercomputer list. We lost the top positions and got no money for it. And in a deca

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday February 08, 2018 @11:17AM (#56089199) Journal

    The current draft of the bill would allow the committee to review certain deals related to handing over "critical technology" or a "critical infrastructure" company. Two potential changes have been suggested. Congress could define more precisely what those terms mean, limiting the committee's review power more specifically. Congress could also delete those provisions as they relate to transactions other than China buying a US company. Transactions in which China buys the "critical technology" output from US companies could then be regulated by other agencies which handle export controls.

  • There is no such thing as free trade. The liars that push that narrative are just sock puppets for the rich. They continually try to float the Great Depression as being due to trade wars rather than their casino market games in the 1920's and *still* referring to discredited idiots like Irving Fisher. You ever notice that when the rich tell us through their media puppets that "the USA is the biggest marketplace in the world." they also push this irrational dichotomy that we are powerless to control trade in

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here is an idea for you. Take all the unemployed able bodied, give them room & board, basic access to the internet, 3 meals a day, and the only requirement is that they dig or fill a hole of dirt for 8 hours a day. Its actually a better idea than the inefficiencies you proposed. The societal healthcare cost reduction from the workout alone will be a better benefit than all the inefficient jobs your proposal generates.

      Let me be blunt, NO I don't want your shitty, small, few options, higher cost Joe's

    • >. 'Its less efficient to have a zillion independent stores versus a few thousand Wal Marts you say? Yes, but it's much more job-intensive.

      You're exactly right, that would be less efficient, needing more people to work to produce the same amount of stuff.

      I wonder what you're estimates are to fill in these blanks:

      If it takes 1 person to produce and sell $100,000 of value, that person can be paid a maximum of $__________.
      If it takes 10 people to produce and sell $100,000 of value, each of those ten peopl

      • If you take the concept to extremes, then it's easy to make straw-man arguments against a ridiculous premise of your own making. Why not use the example of hiring a new person to pick every kernel of corn separately or fill holes like the other genius suggested? Then your asinine arithmetic questions become even more dramatic, though you've completely altered the scale of the argument.

        So, what's your solution? Cede our markets to China and the WTO? Let people dump endlessly subsidized products in *OUR* m
        • > So, what's your solution? Cede our markets to China and the WTO?

          Can we agree that dividing up jobs so that American laborers each make less than Chinese laborers, or about the same amount, isn't a solution? (Average salary in China is equal to $5,000 / year, with unskilled labor earning much less than that.)

          Or do you ANY interest AT ALL in solutions? Would you prefer to drone on about "fat cats doing labor arbitrage" without having the most basic understanding of economics 101? With a little litera

        • The discussion above was interesting and all, but you asked about solutions. For solutions, we can get down to the brass tacks and clearly see some obvious truths that often get lost in the complexity of economic theory.

          Imagine 5 pioneer families arrive out West. It's just the five of families. They all want more food and cotton and clothes and "stuff". How can they all get "more stuff"? What method of dividing it up will make more stuff appear? None, of course. To have more stuff, they need to produc

          • Well, at least you didn't say "job training". Your oversimplified A,B,C model at least shows some engagement with reality. I have some ideas for solutions, too. How about we absolutely refuse to trade with any country that won't agree to an all-new policy of reciprocity? That still leaves quite a few partners who we can trade with in good faith. Even if it's not dirt-cheap-China, trade continues. I have another idea, let's prosecute the living dogshit out of anyone who participates in shipping trade secrets
            • You might feel good doing that, becoming protectionist and barring trade. It would absolutely, unquestionably, reduce your real income.

              When and why would you and I trade two items? Would you ever trade something that's you think is worth $100, in order to get something that's worth $1 to you? Probably not; probably the other way around, right? You'd trade something you don't need for something you do need. If you had a ton of cucumbers growing all over your yard, so you had more cucumbers than you want, a

              • I never said "stop trading". Ever. I'm saying stop trading with cheaters, liars, and bullies. Your patronizing trade explanations completely ignore things like subsidies. If China decides they want to dominate the world in the manufacture of carbon fiber they subsidize it with direct government funding. So, to put it in your terms, what costs $100 to make costs $50 as a finished product. The government just eats the $50 loss in the hope that dumping the product in the West will destroy the manufacture of ca
  • Is this bill anti-China or is it Pro-America?
  • Why are we hurting people again?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is insanely stupid WE (the US) import critical infrastructure and technology from China. They are, or will be soon, taking or the lead in everything tech ... robotics, machine learning, computing, etc..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, 2018 @12:38PM (#56089687)

    Proposed legislation in Congress aimed at preventing China from acquiring sensitive technology is being softened after protests by big U.S. companies who fear a loss in sales

    This portion of the summary conflicts with the facts:

    Nancy McLernon, chief executive of the Organization for International Investment, a group that represents global companies with U.S. operations

    The truthful facts of this issue is that China is stealing or being given sensitive technology that harms US companies and interests. An organization representing the non-US companies that benefit from IP theft and noncompetitive quasi-legal corporate espionage practices says stopping that flow of technology will harm sales.

    Of course it will harm their sales. That is the point!

    Do we run news articles about prisoners that believe harsher penalties on crime will harm their freedoms and claim law-abiding citizens made the claim?

    Of course not. For that would be, at best, propaganda of a narrow interest group.

    Reuters knows better. Msmash knows better.

  • News? (Score:4, Informative)

    by thunderclees ( 4507405 ) on Thursday February 08, 2018 @02:11PM (#56090335)
    It is already common knowledge that the PRC gets access to bleeding edge US technology by pumping its citizens through higher ed. and into R&D of major firms. It would also be naive to think that the PRC would not miss a back door opportunity since it manufactures most communications and computing equipment of not all of it.

    This is why the concern over Huawei and ZTE is puzzling as many/all mobiles are already made in the PRC, why would these be any different. It has also been shown before that the PRC or jsut about anyone with the right numbers can buy their way through to getting anything they want from the US government. One need only look at the quagmire created by Hillary Clinton selling rubber stamp approval and access as SOS.

    “Countries have the right to development, but they should view their own interests in the broader context. And refrain from pursuing their own interests at the expense of others.” - Xi Jinping
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the last few decades, much of the American technology sector has been built and run by Chinese immigrants on H1B visa programme, because evidently, Americans could simply not do the work themselves. How do you feel about this? Is it relevant to you and other people who keep regurgitating the old "IP theft" bullshit?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    because much of this "U.S. technology" was invented and developed by HIGHLY EDUCATED CHINESE NATIONALS ON H1B VISAS. You should be thankful you have it, because they literally gave it to you, and they're certainly not stealing it when they apply it back home.

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