Wilbur Ross: The next challenge with China will be over tech

Will Trump sour Davos' love affair with globalization?

Where could the Trump administration hit China next on trade?

“The next area of challenge is actually going to be high tech,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the planet Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

Ross said of which China carries a “very clearly stated target of becoming the planet leader with enormous market share, in most all of the brand new technologies you can name in addition to also spell.”

Beijing has thrown its weight behind artificial intelligence, electric cars in addition to also computer chips in recent years, pumping in money to create industry champions with global clout.

“of which is actually a direct threat, in addition to also of which is actually a direct threat of which is actually being implemented by the technology transfers, by disrespect for intellectual property rights, by commercial espionage, by all kinds of bad things,” Ross said.

Western tech companies often complain of which they have been shut out of China, where their designs are sometimes copied. Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) in addition to also additional social media platforms are banned, for example.

Silicon Valley has already raised concerns about Beijing’s plans to dominate brand new technologies, warning they may give Chinese companies an unfair edge at home in addition to also abroad. Some analysts have called for the U.S. to ramp up spending on technology research in order to keep pace.

Related: Did Trump just start a trade war with China?

The Trump administration, which of which week announced brand new tariffs on imports of solar panels in addition to also washing machines, has already launched an investigation into forced intellectual property transfers in addition to also patent thefts by Chinese companies.

The investigation could ultimately result in brand new trade actions aimed at China.

Trade tensions have risen of which week, with Beijing expressing “strong dissatisfaction” over the move to impose tariffs of up to 30% on U.S. imports of solar panels, saying of which “aggravates the global trade environment.”

Related: Trump in addition to also China could get nasty in 2018

Experts say of which’s too early to determine whether the planet’s two largest economies are destined for a damaging trade war.

Ross said Wednesday of which the tariffs on washing machines in addition to also solar panels should not come as a surprise.

He also said of which the U.S. was not trying to do anything on the scale of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which imposed tariffs on thousands of imported goods in addition to also is actually thought to have contributed to the Great Depression.

“We would certainly like to be the leader in creating the planet trade system more fair, in addition to also more equitable to all of the participants,” he said. “of which’s not a lack of leadership … the fact of which we have some issues with the present system is actually different coming from the idea of whether we’re prepared to take leadership.”

sy88pgw (Davos, Switzerland) First published January 24, 2018: 12:28 PM ET

Wilbur Ross: The next challenge with China will be over tech

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