It came without a breaking news alert or presidential tweet, but the technological competition with China entered a new phase last month. Several developments quietly heralded this shift: Cross-border investments between the United States and China plunged to their lowest levels since 2014, with the tech sector suffering the most precipitous drop. U.S. chip giants Intel and AMD abruptly ended or declined to extend important partnerships with Chinese entities. The Department of Commerce halved the number of licenses that let U.S. companies assign Chinese nationals to sensitive technology and engineering projects.
Even as Washington debates the relative merits of decoupling technologically and economically with China, policymakers need to consider that the point may be moot: Decoupling is already in motion. Like the shift of tectonic plates, the move towards a new tech alignment with China increases the potential for sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy and supply chains. To defend America’s technology leadership, policymakers must upgrade their toolkit to ensure that U.S. technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks.
Read the full article in Defense One.
More from CNAS
CommentaryIs U.S. Policy Towards Venezuela at a Turning Point?
On March 31, the Trump administration announced a pivot in U.S. policy towards Venezuela. The United States has spent more than a year backing opposition leader Juan Guaido, w...
By John Hughes & Peter Harrell
CommentaryGlobal Supply Chains, Economic Decoupling, and U.S.-China Relations, Part 1: The View from the United States
The trade war has defined the current adversarial relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). While President Donald J. Trump has at times...
By Sagatom Saha & Ashley Feng
ReportsEmerging Threats in Combating Proliferation Finance
Executive Summary For decades, the United States, its allies, and partners have been policing the international financial system in an effort to deny the world’s most dangerou...
By Neil Bhatiya
CommentarySharper: Global Coronavirus Response
As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens