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Commerce secretary to tout U.S. strategy to counter China


U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo speaks during the High-Level Economic Dialogue Second Annual Meeting in Mexico City, Mexico September 12, 2022. REUTERS/Raquel Cunha/Pool

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Wednesday will argue the United States must do more to counter China while insisting the world’s two largest economies should not isolate from each other.

“We have to run faster and out innovate and keep pushing,” Raimondo told reporters Tuesday previewing her planned speech at MIT titled “U.S. Competitiveness and the China Challenge.”

The United States and China have sharply clashed in recent years.

“We must bolster our system of export controls, enhance our investment screening regimes, strengthen our supply chain resiliency, and develop innovative solutions to counter China’s economic coercion and human rights abuses,” Raimondo will say, according to excerpts released by her office.

In October, the Commerce Department published a sweeping set of export controls, including measures tightly restricting Chinese access to U.S. chipmaking technology, vastly expanding its reach in its bid to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances.

“For too long, America’s export control strategy was reactive — focused on preventing China from expanding its technological capabilities after it accessed American intellectual property,” Raimondo will say.

China firmly opposes U.S. export controls on semiconductor chips, arguing they hurt Chinese companies and commercial interests of U.S. exporters.

Raimondo said the United States is working with allies on semiconductor tooling restrictions and hopes they “will take steps similar to ours.”

Concerns about China helped convince Congress to approve hefty funding for semiconductor research and manufacturing and advanced science. Raimondo said that will help “ensure our future competitiveness and national security.”

She added the United States is “exploring new avenues to defend ourselves and others from China’s economic coercion” and cited United States support for Lithuania to withstand Chinese pressure after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy there.

Raimondo said the United States is “not seeking a decoupling from China” but added on “cutting edge technology, that China wants to get its hands on to put into military capacity… We’re not going to allow that.”

Raimondo in September 2021 said China was preventing its domestic airlines from buying “tens of billions of dollars” of U.S.-manufactured Boeing (BA.N) airplanes. In September, Boeing said it would begin to remarket some 737 MAX jets earmarked for Chinese customers citing ongoing geopolitical tensions.

Raimondo said Tuesday “we need to continue to do business with China and trade with China supports American jobs.”

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