The US must step up its efforts to counter China’s bid for economic and technological dominance, the country’s US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday.
But she also argued that Washington must not isolate itself from Beijing and that the world’s two largest economies must find a way to coexist.
“We have to run faster and out-innovate and keep pushing,” Raimondo told reporters ahead of a planned speech at MIT titled ‘US Competitiveness and the China Challenge’.
Raimondo will add in her speech: ”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.”
In October, the US Commerce Department published a sweeping set of export controls, including measures tightly restricting Chinese access to US 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 US export controls on semiconductor chips, arguing they hurt Chinese companies and commercial interests of US exporters.
US Semiconductor Research Funding
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” and that “we need to continue to do business with China and trade with China supports American jobs”.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara