Today we learn of China’s theft of US jobs that Obama does nothing about, instead giving us more free trade agreements and a Jobs bill that was advanced solely for PR purposes and the possibility the GOP could use passing some of his proposed tax breaks as a way to kill the return to the Clinton tax rates. China’s trade dishonesty is now on steroids and loudly out in the open. But giving the finger to Obama – loudly and publicly – seems without penalty for the GOP, so why shouldn’t China follow the same course?
China’s draft “New Energy Vehicles” plan requires automakers assembling EVs in China to develop a “mastery level” of proficiency in key parts, batteries and control systems by entering into joint ventures with a Chinese manufacturer with a mandated transfer of intellectual property rights for for all those competitive advantages like GM’s key electric car technologies so that “free trade” becomes a total loser for Americans. Chinese officials are refusing to let the Volt qualify for the standard Chinese electric car incentives worth nearly $19,000 per car unless GM shares some of the vehicle’s key technologies. They are ignoring their own law that says the mandated transfer of intellectual property rights is only for those companies that build their product in China (a law some say is already a violation of our treaties despite the limitation to products built in the country). GM notes that the car will be introduced as a fully imported vehicle, with no local content requirement, so there is no need for the intellectual property rights transfer, and that under the trade treaty and WTO rules China can not give domestic electric car production sales rebates that it withholds for imported electric cars – so the Volt electric car should just get the standard electric car subsidy without GM giving up trade secrets. But GM is not making any public noise or protest, just staying in a quiet discussion with China on a “solution”.
Obama has U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank doing NOTHING about this except have Nkenge Harmon, a spokeswoman for Kirk, said the office is “reviewing the problem”. Indeed it is unlikely Obama’s team would have made that “strong statement” had they not received letters on the topic from Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Debbie Stabenow requesting the end of China “coercing” American companies into turning over key technologies, and requesting the government to investigate China’s handling of the Volt, and to file a World Trade Organization complaint if necessary.
Senator Stabenow noted in her letter that “forced technology transfers are already allowing Chinese companies to use American technologies to compete against American companies in industries such as water purification, high-speed trains and wind turbines,” but does anyone think “Jobs are our priority” Obama really cares about a violation of World Trade Organization rules that screws American workers?
Of course that Great American Company called “FORD” had a Ford executive tell a newspaper that the company intends to give in to China’s demand when it is ready to launch an electric vehicle there – proving it is a great American company because protecting American jobs is what American companies do these days. So GM is in “good company”, isn’t it?