United States stocks trend higher on softening USA stance for China investments

30 June, 2018, 19:49 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York City

Trump, during a meeting with lawmakers, pushed back on recent reports that the USA was preparing the investment restrictions and suggested the administration could do it through the foreign investment reviews under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. An expansion of the scope of deals reviewed by the interagency panel would effectively address national security concerns, officials added.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who chairs the investment committee, rejected the idea that the administration had softened its stance after seeing the turbulence in financial markets.

While a senior U.S. administration official insisted that "this is a tough approach", it appeared to be a move to sidestep more aggressive efforts to restrict Chinese investment in technology firms.

"We can't let people steal their technology", Trump said when asked if the USA administration was preparing the investment restrictions.

"For those who want to say this is being weak on China, the answer is no", Mnuchin told reporters at briefing on the decision.

US stocks, which have reacted swiftly to shifts in sentiment on the U.S.

But Hunter noted that Trump's approach to policymaking is so mercurial that it's impossible to say whether the conciliatory approach will last or whether the Navarro camp will stage a comeback.

The White House opted to take a less confrontational approach toward Chinese investments in the U.S.as it pushes Congress to strengthen an existing review process rather than invoke a little-used law reserved for economic emergencies. Therefore, upon enactment of FIRRMA legislation, I will direct my Administration to implement it promptly and enforce it rigorously, with a view toward addressing the concerns regarding state-directed investment in critical technologies identified in the Section 301 investigation. It said the specifics of its plan would be officially announced by June 30, which is Saturday.

The decision to stick with CFIUS was a pragmatic move because the new CFIUS legislation "will put a crimp in China's efforts to move up the value chain in high tech", said Scott Kennedy, head of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The measure gives the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States more power to review sensitive investments involving China, Russia and state sponsors or terrorism, allows reviews of land purchases near US military installations and ports and could stop key technology from being exported to China and other countries.

"There's a lot of talent out there, blessedly that would like to come work for me and would like to come work for President Trump", he said.

Now the Trump administration is trying to force China to change its ways.

The Chinese government's economic plans have a strong focus on technological advancement.

Mnuchin said Wednesday that the White House expects lawmakers to act quickly to protect U.S. technology.

A Commerce Department spokesman did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment on the study.

The Senate Banking Committee also approved a version of the reform, so the two chambers will have to reconcile them into a single bill for Trump to sign.

CFIUS has knocked back a string of proposed Chinese acquisitions of U.S. companies over the past year.


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