Those who have followed the Trump administration’s decoupling strategy will note the potential conflict from within this approach is a ‘nothing to lose’ proposition from Donald Trump’s perspective.
The Trump administration announced today the Department of Homeland Security, via U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, are about to start blocking the import of products from five specific entities in western China’s Xinjiang region. The objective is to block products that come from forced Uighur labor in Xinjiang, China.
The authority comes from U.S. “Withhold Release Orders” (WRO’s) that allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection to detain shipments based on suspicion of forced-labor involvement under long-standing U.S. laws to combat human trafficking, child labor and other human rights abuses. Ken Cuccinelli explains to Lou Dobbs.
At first blush this might seem detrimental to the objectives of the U.S-China Phase-One trade deal. However, if you have followed the decoupling process closely; including the warnings given by Trump to U.S. multinationals; you will note there is no specific downside to this confrontation.
Wall Street, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the multinationals represented by K-Street lobbyists in DC will obviously go bananas; however, at this point in the 2020 election -and I swear this is incredibly astute and strategic timing- there’s no political value in attacking President Trump over a policy against forced labor.
Think about it…. Are the democrats or their allies on Wall Street really going to start demanding that President Trump’s global trade policy include accepting forced labor, slavery and child exploitation? A democrat campaign message to “make slavery great again”? Of course not…. ergo, strategic brilliance. A brilliance that actually circles directly back to the longer-term goal of decoupling from Beijing.
wASHINGTON – DHS said Xinjiang entities whose products will be blocked from entering the United States include all products made with labor from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center; hair products from the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park; apparel produced by Yili Zhouwan Garment Manufacturing and Baodung LYSZD Trade and Business Co.; cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co. Ltd; and computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co. Ltd.
President Donald Trump’s administration is ratcheting up pressure on China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, where the United Nations cites credible reports that about 1 million Muslims held in camps have been put to work.
China denies mistreatment of the Uighurs and says the camps are vocational training centers needed to fight extremism.