August 14, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative will investigate China for forcing companies to share their technology and trade secrets in order to do business in China.

WASHINGTON – Today technology industry trade group ITI, the global voice of the tech sector, issued the following statement from President and CEO Dean Garfield regarding the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will self-initiate an investigation into China’s technology policies:

“We hope that China will take the administration’s assessment seriously and simply improve our trade relationship by living up to their commitments to make their market more accessible. Doing so will benefit both the Chinese and the American people,” Garfield said. “China’s practice of forcing businesses to transfer technology – for example by requiring that they disclose source code or other intellectual property in order to do business there – have long harmed U.S. companies and American workers, not only in the technology industry, but across the economy. Both the United States and China should use the coming months to address the issues causing friction in the bilateral trade relationship before Presidents Trump and Xi have their anticipated meeting ahead of the November APEC Leaders Meeting.”

China’s technology policies (including its restrictions on cross-border data flows), requirements on foreign firms to disclose source code and other intellectual property, and discrimination against U.S. cloud providers, among others – have for years had significant, negative economic impacts on the United States. U.S. tech companies and the global tech sector have sought to work constructively with China to address these impacts, recognizing that it may become necessary for governments to use enforcement tools to do so.

ITI said it looks forward to reviewing the president’s memorandum to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and wants to work closely with the Trump Administration as it investigates China’s adherence to its trade commitments to ensure any actions the United States takes effectively address Chinese policies and practices, while being consistent with U.S. international obligations. ITI supports the Trump Administration in identifying effective legal remedies for these barriers, while working to find pathways for China to modify its policies and practices in a productive and mutually beneficial way.

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Public Policy Tags: Trade & Investment