Sep 30, 2019

U.S. ban on Chinese investments would take trade war to a new level

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein has called capital one of America's greatest exports, particularly in regards to China. Now there's talk of a blockade.

The big picture: Bloomberg reported on Friday that the White House is considering limitations on U.S. investments in Chinese companies. Several other news outlets reported the same, including Axios. The White House itself did not confirm or deny the reports.

Details: Discussions included the possibilities of de-listing Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges and banning federal employee pensions funds from investing in Chinese equities.

  • There is no known talk of making similar restrictions on state or municipal pension funds' direct of indirect investments. But, were it to expand there, it could create major headaches for venture and private equity firms that invest in Chinese companies (even private ones, since hold periods usually extend post-IPO).

What they're saying: A Treasury Department spokesperson subsequently said the administration is not contemplating changes to listing rules for Chinese companies "at this time," and Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro today told CNBC that the original Bloomberg story was "fake news."

  • Again, the original reporting was legit.

The bottom line: The trade war may be moving well beyond tariffs, even if those involved are struggling to keep their stories straight.

Go deeper: China seems unfazed by U.S. threats to limit investor access

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How the China trade war threatens U.S. manufacturing jobs

Inside Fuyao Glass, a Chinese-owned factory in Moraine, Ohio. Photo: Andrew Spear/Washington Post/Getty Images

Automation and offshoring have destroyed millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs in the last 2 decades, but another, less-discussed threat to those jobs is the U.S.-China trade war.

The big picture: Almost a fifth of all manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are created by foreign companies that put their factories in American towns to get closer to the U.S. market, according to Brookings, and around a quarter of U.S. exports come from factories owned by foreign countries, reports the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019

The Chinese national security threat is bigger than Huawei

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The consensus in Washington is increasingly clear: The security threat to the U.S. from Chinese firms is bigger than just Huawei.

Why it matters: If the administration views every Chinese company with suspicion, it could prolong the trade war and put the U.S. and China on a crash course toward a swift technological decoupling.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

American speech puts spotlight on Chinese censorship

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

In less than 48 hours, three American companies in the business of mass entertainment have found themselves at the center of a political storm about China's aggressive censorship.

Why it matters: Media and entertainment have long acted as extensions of free speech with a mass reach, making them both vehicles for public expressions of controversial views and targets of government censorship.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019