James Mann punctures the inevitable “truthiness” of the freer trade position with a report on how “Corporate America Turns Against China”.
American and European companies have vied for centuries, through all of China’s upheavals, to dominate what used to be called “the China market.” Now, increasingly, China wants to keep that market for itself.
It opened up to foreign companies in the 1980s and 1990s not because it believed in free trade or because it thought the visitors were wise and wonderful, but rather because it wanted their technology and know-how. But China no longer needs the multinational companies as it once did. The Chinese government has proved ever more adept at running an industrial policy that privileges its own companies, many of them state-owned.