History shows that cooperating with China has always served the United States well. When the two countries broke ice in 1972 and established diplomatic relations in 1979, the trade volume between them skyrocketed. When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it gave a tremendous boost to globalization, from which the US has been one of the main beneficiaries.
Connected with buyers and sellers around the world, the US has sustained and expanded its leading position in the global economy with US companies focusing on the high end of the value chain and innovation.
China paid $1.9 billion in royalties to other countries for the use of intellectual property in 2001. In 2018, it paid $35.6 billion in IP royalties, of which $8.64 billion went to the US, nearly one-fourth of the total. And US exports of goods to China surged from $26 billion in 2001 to nearly $150 billion in 2017, according to the US-China Business Council, with China becoming the third-largest market for US goods, up from the 11th in 2001.
And despite the trade war the previous US administration launched against China and the COVID-19 pandemic, China has remained the third-largest export market for the US, behind the US' neighbors Canada and Mexico.
The value of US goods exported to China in 2021 amounted to $149 billion, and exports of goods and services to China support 858,486 US jobs, according to the US-China Business Council's 2022 report on US exports.
Indeed, contrary to the claims of the previous US administration that China has been "stealing American jobs", new studies highlighted by an influential Washington-based think tank and a top US university show US trade with China has not been pivotal to the loss of US jobs.
Losses were confined to the manufacturing sector, which makes up a small portion of the US labor market, and these were offset by gains in non-manufacturing sectors. This is the conclusion reached by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions in a report released on Friday.
But while service jobs have increased on the West Coast and the northeastern part of the US, manufacturing jobs have been lost in the middle and southern regions, which the anti-China political forces have exploited. US policymakers need to know that the healthy development of the Chinese economy benefits both countries. And with the headwinds created by the COVID-19 pandemic yet to abate, the resilient Chinese economy is a powerful engine for the global economy.
The report of the Communist Party of China Central Committee delivered to the 20th National Congress of the CPC on Sunday, stressed that: "China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up."
It is time that US policymakers recognized that politicizing trade with China and adopting protectionist measures is detrimental to the US.
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