The United States and its allies must prevent China from violating international trade norms and rules

As the world turns its eyes to the Winter Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to deceive the global rules-based system and commit human rights atrocities with the ultimate goal of make the United States the world’s leading superpower. It is the same leadership that deprives Hong Kong of its legitimate freedoms, denies Taiwan’s sovereignty, oversees forced labor and torture, and steals our intellectual property. It is high time we held the CCP accountable.

When it comes to global trade, the CCP has regularly violated international standards relating to intellectual property rights, subsidies and overcapacity. SOEs have increased their presence in business sectors around the world with the full support of the Chinese government. Huawei is a classic example of a public company that surrounded by accusations of corruption and theft of intellectual property.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) must play a serious role in holding the CCP accountable. It is time for the WTO to update its rules on developing country status. China is the world’s second-largest economy, but it gets the same treatment as other countries considered “emerge and developby World Economic Outlook, including Cambodia, Gambia, Guinea and Malaysia. In 2019, South Korea announcement it would give up its special status as a “developing country” and Brazil did the same, yet China insists on declaring itself a developing country. I proposed an amendment to the America COMPETES Act, which was passed with bipartisan support, that would push to strip China of its “developing country” status under the Paris Agreement, another internationally recognized treaty. The CCP must follow the precedent set by other countries that have developed in the 21st Century. If the CCP has truly won a “complete victory” on extreme poverty, then ending its status as a developing country should be an obvious – and fair – next step.

The CCP provides ample evidence of its dishonesty. China has misstated its carbon dioxide emission and continues to open new coal-fired power plantsis, however, a welcome partner in discussions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is an intransparent CCP foreign aid program that provides hundreds of billions of dollars in funding to meet the infrastructure needs of poor countries. This program holds countries hostage to the CCP, locking developing countries with unsustainable debt while being forced to transfer control of infrastructure to the CCP, such as The port built by the Chinese at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, is the best proof of this.

The United States must work with other countries to hold China accountable. After the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, Japan showed global leadership as the other eleven TPP countries moved forward with what is now called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Global and Progressive (CPTPP). If the US could improve the deal to address bipartisan concerns and make sure it serves our interests, it could be an economic engine for the United States and California, my home state. Thanks to the reduction improved tariffs and trade rules that reflect our values ​​would improve market access for our exporters. But our absence from the CPTPP has created a major vacuum, and China sees this as a possibility of strengthening its power and its abuses in the region. In the short term, the United States must improve trade agreements with Japan and other allies in the region to continue to find ways to improve our trade relationship, including explore the possibility of a free trade agreement with Taiwan.

It is time for the United States to stand up to the CCP. Earlier this year, Australia (which is a member of the CPTPP) and China had a trade dispute after tensions erupted over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. China has retaliated with bans on Australian beef and new tariffs on a range of key Australian exports. Australia has been able to find other markets for most of its goods. It showed that although it is not easy, countries can find new export routes when China abuses its market power.

If the CCP has the economic resources to invest in nuclear silos, rovers on marsand the largest navy in the world, then it is time for China to conform to the international norms and rules that have brought it to its current economic position. If the CCP fails to do this, then the United States and our democratic partners must find alternatives to Chinese markets and impose real costs for China’s unfair economic practices. We can no longer allow the CCP to march on us and our allies.

Michelle Steel represents California’s 48th District and is a member of the Congressional Executive Commission on China.