On Tuesday, as “phase one” of the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China nears completion, the Wall Street Journal reported that the interim agreement would not only deter new tariffs, but lessen existing tariffs. However, the “phase one” agreement reportedly will not include language regarding forced technology transfers.
China’s practice of forcing U.S. companies to transfer technology is one of the major reasons that the U.S. took action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 in March 2018. The Section 301 Report called China’s forced technology practice “inequitable” and stated that it “significantly undermines the value of American technology (including IP), thereby distorting markets and compromising U.S. companies’ global competitiveness.”
As a “contentious” topic, Trump Administration officials may plan to address forced technology transfers in subsequent “phases” of trade negotiations.
“Phase one” of the deal between the U.S. and China may conclude as early as this week. If no deal is reached by December 15, President Trump has announced that he may impose tariffs on an additional $156 billion worth of Chinese products.