Number of U.S.-banned Chinese companies reaches 200 . . .
The number of Chinese companies banned from doing business with the United States reached 200 this week. American companies are banned from selling or transferring products to companies, individuals, or governments that the U.S. Department of Commerce puts on the Entity List for security reasons. Besides ZTE and the giant telecommunications mogul, Huawei, a plethora of Chinese startups and sectors have been added to the list since 2016. The latest additions include China’s most promising artificial intelligence companies: iFlytek, SenseTime, Megvii, and Yitu.
No end in sight . . .
The trade war between the U.S. and China has entered its 17th month with no end in sight. Over the last five days, President Donald Trump has threatened China twice with new tariff hikes if China doesn’t bend to U.S. trade demands. Chinese officials and China state media have not responded to these latest threats, nor have they commented on US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross assertions that he is close to closing a deal. From the China side, a deal will likely be tied to removing the 200 companies from the Entity List, especially Huawei. From the U.S. perspective, specific concerns about agricultural purchases and intellectual property rights are at the centre of the ongoing debate.
The goal post keeps moving . . .
Canada also has high stakes in this quarrel. Secretary Ross insists that security issues – including the U.S. case against Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou arrested on a U.S. extradition warrant in Canada – are also under negotiation. The U.S. says it’s aiming to reach an agreement with China before December 15, the day a 25% tariff increase on Chinese goods across the board is supposed to kick in. Canada’s new Foreign Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, faces no easy task in representing Canada’s interests in this protracted row, and in working with China to ease trade restrictions on Canadian products wrought by the battling superpowers.
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