For years, the United States and China have been fought tooth-and-nail over the title for the world’s economic leader. So far, America has managed to remain on top. Regardless, the U.S. has become wildly dependant on the Communist country’s exports. In fact, Trump campaigned on “Making America Great Again,” which would be accomplished, in part, by bolstering American jobs in order to become less dependant on China.
Strangely enough, it appears President Trump may be rethinking his campaign commitment by making China great again instead. Follow along to find out the surprising reason for President Trump’s change of heart and reasoning behind saving Chinese jobs.
1. U.S. companies were banned from selling to ZTE
A few months ago, the United States banned American companies from selling parts and supplies to ZTE (Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment). In 2017, ZTE was caught violating trade agreements and sanctions by selling products to Iran and North Korea. Even worse is the fact that ZTE knew they were up to no good and attempted to conceal their wrongdoings from the U.S.
Next: But the U.S. never really trusted ZTE to begin with.
2. The United States has never really trusted ZTE
The US’ issue with ZTE is rooted in the fact that the Chinese government has a firm and strong hand over Chinese companies. Because of that structure, companies like ZTE become puppets for the government. To boot, the government requires that every company have a Communist Party cell. Additionally, GlobalData research director Avi Greengart warns that “Chinese agents could insist on backdoor monitoring [of ZTE products] without U.S. knowledge.”
Next: Could the Chinese plant a Trojan horse?
3. The Trojan Horse theory
Although it’s just a theory, the United States believes that by using ZTE’s wireless infrastructure for an eventual 5G conversion, America would be opening itself up to the possibility of China creating “hidden backdoors” into U.S. networks via routers and other equipment. As FCC Chairman Ajit Pai explained to Fast Company:
U.S. government officials have expressed concern about the national security threats posed by certain foreign communications equipment providers in the communications supply chain. Hidden ‘backdoors’ to our networks in routers, switches, and other network equipment can allow hostile foreign powers to inject viruses and other malware, steal Americans’ private data, spy on U.S. businesses, and more.
Next: Suddenly, Trump sings a different tune, by way of Twitter.
4. Trump met with Chinese President Xi on claims he wanted to restore lost jobs
In classic President Trump fashion, the Commander in Chief took to Twitter to announce that he and Chinese President Xi were planning a powwow in order to help ZTE get back on its feet, despite being caught red-handed violating U.S. export law. Trump has seemingly developed a soft spot for the numerous Chinese jobs that have been lost, but this about-face has Americans wondering what his real motive is.
Next: Don’t forget Trump’s big campaign claims.
5. This negates major points on which Trump campaigned
Throughout Trump’s presidential campaign, he valiantly declared that battening down the hatches on China’s “rape” of the U.S. economy was a high priority if he won the election. Even at the beginning of 2018, as Vox explains, Trump claimed that the “White House is preparing to roll out hard-hitting policies designed to punish China for its ‘unfair’ trade practices.”
Next: Here’s where the rubber meets the road (for Trump).
6. But a Chinese firm wants to invest $500 million into Trump hotels and golf courses in Indonesia
When it comes to President Trump, nothing talks as clearly and concisely as money does. So when the Chinese government let slip that they were extending a $500 million line of credit for an investment in Trump-branded hotels and golf courses in Indonesia, it appeared that President Trump suddenly had a change of heart surrounding the ZTE deal.
Next: It gets worse, here are the demands from China.
7. China had a laundry list of demands for the U.S.
The U.S. hasn’t approved China’s demands yet, but the list is far from short. As reported by directly from the Washington Post, here they are:
- The United States commits to eliminating the sanctions imposed after China’s crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989
- The United States relaxes export restrictions on technology such as integrated circuits
- The United States allows U.S. government agencies to purchase and use Chinese information technology products and services
- The United States agrees to treat Chinese investment and investors equally to those from other countries and place no restrictions on Chinese investment
- The United States agrees to ensure Chinese businesses can participate in U.S. infrastructure projects
- The United States agrees to strengthen protection of Chinese intellectual property.
- The United States agrees to drop its anti-dumping cases against China at the World Trade Organization
- The United States agrees to terminate its investigations into Chinese intellectual property theft and not impose any of the sanctions Trump already announced
Next: At the end of the day, Trump’s motive is selfish.
8. Trump’s primary motive to save Chinese jobs is to boost his bottom dollar
Considering that only a few months ago President Trump was battening down the hatches on trade issues with China, his motive for shifting gears seems reasonably obvious. Ultimately, the Chinese extending investment dollars into Trump-branded projects in Indonesia will solely benefit his personal bottom dollar. All signs point to the fact that the Chinese government has realized its bargaining power, and it is manipulating Trump with the lure of more money in his pocket.