The study, which was commissioned by President Donald Trump in July 2017 and is now set to be published following long delays, was described to Foreign Policy by two anonymous sources. It will accuse China of “underhanded trade practices” intended to hurt US national security.
For example, China controls much of the world’s supply of ammonium perchlorate, a compound used to make rocket fuel, while the US has only one supplier. The study says China sells the chemical at artificially low prices, which makes it hard for the American company to stay in business.
The US is also concerned that China dominates the trade of processed rare-earth metals, which are required for manufacturing electronic components for advanced US weapon systems.
“China uses their control of natural resources and other materials to negatively impact our industrial base as a national strategy,” an administration official told the magazine. “This has a very real impact on our ability to maintain an industrial base.”
The study is expected to be released within a few weeks and will add to a long list of American complaints about its Asian strategic rival. The US accusations against China include stealing intellectual property, manipulating currency, projecting military power in disputed waters, failing to enforce sanctions against North Korea, and many others.
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