This week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) announced plans to draft a bill to revoke China’s most favored nation status. This would allow the U.S. to put tariffs on China based on unfair trade practices without risk of retaliation. All members of the World Trade Organization are given the most favored nation status–Cotton’s bill would require Congress to vote on China’s status annually.
“I’m introducing legislation this week that would repeal permanent most favored nation status and require the president and Congress to decide on it annually,” he said on Fox & Friends on September 14.
Although the U.S. would be changing an agreement that has been in place for decades, it may be necessary in order to surpass China in manufacturing and trade.
“We need to go back to that approach so that we can keep the pressure on China every year to stop stealing our intellectual property — to stop stealing all of the products that they have been manufacturing based on American design and engineering. We need to put pressure on them to respect the rights of their own citizens to uphold their international commitments,” Cotton said.
While the U.S. and China have come to terms with certain trade issues, Chinese companies continue to replicate American products and intellectual property and sell it at a much cheaper price.
While the World Trade Organization’s decision hasn’t been swayed, Cotton’s bill serves to move the conversation onto U.S. relations with China and how to protect American manufacturing–Existing WTO rules don’t do the job.