National Security

‘Naive Globalism’: Conservative Group Calls For ‘Hard Break’ From China’s Economy

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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American Compass, a think tank dedicated to conservative economics, released a new paper Thursday about ending America’s existing economic relationship with China.

American Compass is proposing a “hard break” from China’s economy by severing investment activity between American and Chinese firms, imposing tariffs on Chinese goods to balance trade and protecting U.S. institutions from subversion by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). (RELATED: TikTok’s Security Protocols Won’t Prevent China From Spying On American Users, Analysts Warn)

“The fundamental problem is that America’s free market economy is incompatible with China’s state-controlled one, and American liberty and democracy are incompatible with Chinese communism. America must sever its economic relationship with China to protect its market from subversion by the CCP. Disentangling our economies will be costly, but the alternative of accepting CCP control of our assets and investments, dominance in our supply chains, and influence over our institutions will cost far more,” the paper states.

The group is led by conservative policy expert Oren Cass, a former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffer known for supporting a nationalist economic approach. Its Board of Directors includes former Trump Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel.

American Compass believes the Biden administration’s approach to China is outdated and naive, even though former President Donald Trump’s tariffs have been left in place. (RELATED: ‘In China’s Pocket’: Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Slams Elon Musk For Cozying Up To CCP)

“President Joe Biden maintained the tariffs imposed by his predecessor, but in recent months his administration has sprinted back toward the naïve globalism that characterized American foreign policy at the start of this century,” the paper reads.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke in April about maintaining a “healthy economic relationship” with a “growing China that plays by international rules” in a speech delivered at Johns Hopkins University.

Similarly, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan outlined a “small yard and high fence” approach and said the U.S. is “not looking for confrontation or conflict” with China in an April address to the Brookings Institution, a well known liberal think tank.

American Compass’ paper recommends specific policy measures to separate American investments, supply chains and institutions from CCP control. Its investment strategy is characterized by restrictions to China-based entities from operating in the U.S. market and doing business in America, while imposing the same rules for U.S. firms operating in China.

The group suggests rebuilding U.S. supply chains by imposing tariffs on China and rebuilding domestic manufacturing in critical industries. Lastly, the paper explains how U.S. institutions can use “cultural export controls” to prevent censorship on behalf of China and limit CCP influence over American universities.

As a case study, the paper looks at the U.S. aggressive economic response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 characterized by a rapid economic and cultural split.

“Whether the United States should take action on a similar scale against China is not a question of legality or capacity, but of values and will,” the paper concludes.