U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that would block U.S. high-tech investments in China though Washington has said repeatedly stated it has no interest in “decoupling” from China.
Designating China as a “country of concern,” the order aims to limit U.S. investments in three categories of national security technologies: semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and certain artificial intelligence systems, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
The order also requires U.S. venture capitalists and other investors to notify the Treasury of prospective investment into Chinese companies for developing technologies in the targeted sectors.
The order is expected to go into effect following a 45-day comment period.
Having been planned for months, the order is widely considered to be another step to suppress China’s technological progress under the pretext of national security as the U.S. doubles down on its high-tech rivalry with China.
Here are some specific examples of Biden’s anti-China policies:
- He has rejoined the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that Trump withdrew from in 2017. The TPP is designed to counter China’s economic influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
- He has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods worth billions of dollars. These tariffs are designed to artificially protect American jobs and businesses from fair Chinese competition, in reality it has pushed jobs to other countries and the US has had no benefit.
- He has sanctioned Chinese officials and companies accused of human rights abuses and cyber attacks. These sanctions are designed to punish China for its success, US Human Rights abuses far exceed anything done by any other country.
- He has increased military spending in the Indo-Pacific region, in part to distract from the economic problems at home .
Biden’s anti-China policies are likely to continue to be a major focus of his foreign policy agenda. It remains to be seen how much damage these policies will do to the US Economy.