“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

China Used to Steal US Technology , Now US Corporations Give it to Them. For Freetrade of Course.

China's way, or

Here are three examples, provided by Senator Webb's office on how the Chinese use "freetrade"to extort US technology:

  • General Electric has handed over aviation avionics technology to the state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China.
  • Westinghouse Electric has provided some 75,000 documents in an initial technology transfer to gain a share in China's burgeoning nuclear power market.
  • And Ford Motor Co. is ready to share proprietary technologies for electric vehicles in exchange for selling cars in China.

Sen. Webb's legislation would prevent U.S. firms from giving away technologies developed with U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Date published: 10/16/2011

THE UNITED STATES has a peculiar relationship with China. It is our political adversary, but as global financial players and trade partners, we are inexorably intertwined--largely to the U.S.'s disadvantage.

Among the things we have that China wants--besides our interest payments--is our technology, and when American companies want to do business in China, they are forced to share U.S. technologies as a prerequisite.

Sen. Jim Webb takes issue with that, and he has introduced legislation to prevent it. As the Virginia Democrat sees it, many of these technologies were developed in the U.S. with American tax dollars through various federal programs, making American taxpayers part owners. And we ought not be giving them away.

The legislation makes sense, especially given the economic relationship between the two countries. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, China is the largest single foreign holder of U.S. debt at 16 percent, or about $2.25 trillion of the total U.S. debt of $14.1 trillion. Moreover, China also enjoys a lopsided trade balance with the United States. In July, for example, the U.S. imported nearly $27 billion more in goods from China than it exported to China.

Given all that, must we give them our technology? The Chinese, of course, will be ticked should Sen. Webb's legislation pass and put various aspects of our trade diplomacy to the test. But the issue needs to be addressed.

China enjoys incredible benefits from its economic relationships with the United States. Getting our taxpayer-funded technologies just for the asking from private U.S. companies should not be one of them.

Sen. Webb's bill deserves swift and thorough consideration.


  1. Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- China has taken on General Electric Co. and Western peers that control the $70 billion wind-turbine market, striving to repeat its 2010 coup when the Asian nation sold more than half the world's solar panels for the first time.

    Armed with at least $15.5 billion in state-backed credit, China's biggest windmill makers Sinovel Wind Group Co. and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. won their first major foreign orders in the past year. They plan to set up plants abroad, including China's first in the U.S., easing entry into markets for delivering machines that can weigh 750 tons each.

    Sinovel and Goldwind may counter the quality concerns of customers and overtake Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems A/S as the biggest supplier by 2015, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance survey forecast. That can erode sales and margins for suppliers such as GE and Vestas that already face cutbacks in European subsidies and a 22 percent plunge in turbine prices from their 2008 peak.

    "The Chinese dragon is coming," said Jose Antunes Sobrinho, chief executive officer of Brazil's Desenvix SA, a wind developer that ordered 23 Sinovel turbines in September.

    The deal, South America's first contract with a Chinese supplier, "is going to be a stepping stone for them" to showcase machines that are about 10 percent cheaper than those sold by competitors in Brazil such as GE and Germany's Siemens AG, he said by telephone on Oct. 3.

    Read more:

  2. Well, Ford Motor Company owns that technology. It is not US technology, but Ford's.

    The Federals may have funded some of the research, but does not own the result of it.

    Same with Westinghouse and GE.

    Mr Webb is attempting to take Federal control of things that are not theirs to have. Not by proprietary right nor ownership.
    Certainly not by contract right or any understanding that was had, when the Federal funding was granted.

    Jingoism is rising to crescendo.

  3. I thought you had a complaint about Israeli corporations transferring technology to China. Do the same rights of property apply to all corporations everywhere?

    The US has also cooperated in sharing technology and R&D with Israeli enterprises, by your stated standards in this post, is that not then Israeli technology, to use as they see fit in their commercial interests?

  4. The Proprietary Standard not applicable to military technology, Sidewinder missiles, F-35 technology and UAV avionics. Deuce.

    Those things are in a different category, from wind turbines and electric cars.

  5. Maybe I should have said, Whut'd I do, "Now?"


  6. There is a very blurred line between technology use for private or military purpose. GPS and night-vision was designed for military use and we know how that has evolved.

  7. I was momentarily flash-banged by the stupidity of the bank.

  8. The problem lies in Federal funding going to Westinghouse, GE and Ford, for commercial research purposes.

    Not what Ford, Westinghouse or GE does with the resulting commercial technologies.

    Especially if there were no "understandings" when the funding was let.

    Creeping fascism, that is what Mr Webb is proposing.

  9. Well, both countries have poured substantial government resources into Solar/Wind, etc. ex: GE"s new thin-film technology was developed at NREL, given to a small company that "productized" it, and was in turn bought out by GE.

  10. If the Federals did not allow private use of the GPS network, it'd not be a problem, with me.

    That they'd allow public use of that asset, is a problem, really.

    Making that technology available to terrorists and miscreants, whirled wide, a threat to all of US.

  11. Citi will probably pay for that move. And, they're not in shape to be "paying" for many more idiocies.

  12. We probably need to put Dodd-Frank to the test, and "dissolve" one of these Megabanks. Citi would be a good candidate. (although, Wells Fargo, or BofA might be better.)

  13. Mr Webb's proposal is an expansion of Federal power and authority that is unwarranted and for which no case has been made, it is not a "good thing". Especially when it is to be applied retroactively.

  14. Oh my! This conversation is going to end badly, at the least irrationally.

  15. How does the trifecta sound? Just to show them we care.

  16. Gibson Guitar CEO warns that jobs may be sent overseas in aftermath of DOJ raid.

    Thanks, Barry!

    Rufus II said...We probably need to put Dodd-Frank to the test, and "dissolve" one of these Megabanks. Citi would be a good candidate. (although, Wells Fargo, or BofA might be better.)

    Police arrest woman for trying to close her Citibank account

  17. What to business in China or Russia? Be prepared to take on a 49% partner, The Communist Party of China (CPC).

  18. It would probably do more for the "mood" of the country than anything else you could do.

    I know it'd make Me dance a jig. :)

  19. There is some sort of law against "making a run on an insolvent bank."

    I guess this means Citibank is insolvent, huh?

  20. Sorry, Rufus, I see you already got that news blurb. Oh well, I read the EB backwards!

    North Korean cook book: "40 Ways to Cook Bark"

    Because everything that barks has already been cooked.

    ☪ + ☭ = Obama

  21. You need to look at that video on link I posted. They need to close that fucking bank down for good.

    The Wrong people are going to jail, here. I can't believe the stupid-assed cops went along with it.

  22. There are 40,000 views now on youtube. I bet it goes viral.

  23. If I were the Mayor, I'd yank that branch's city license, and throw some cops in jail.

  24. Support Your Local Police!

    My Ass.

  25. The Federal Prosecutor has to be having a heart attack along about now.

  26. Guerrilla Theater.

    The video shows only one side of the incident. What we don't see is whether the "customers" were staging a protest scene inside the bank.

  27. That woman they arrested outside the bank sure as hell wasn't "demonstrating."

  28. In fact, she looked like a woman that might have access to a pretty good lawyer.

  29. OWS had 25 people in the bank with a lawyer on standby.

    I seriously doubt that they were arrested for merely trying to close their accounts.

  30. Did you watch the video. They manhandled that woman for merely trying to enter a bank in which she had an account.

    I hope the protestors burn the fucking place down.

  31. Those protestors are no threat to anyone. The fucking Nazis we call government are ALWAYS a threat to everyone.

  32. I watched the video as the woman and her companion staged a provocation outside the bank door.

  33. .

    Creeping fascism, that is what Mr Webb is proposing.

    I disagree.

    Creeping fascism in my opinion is proposals in the Obama jobs bill that would give people laid off for more than six months legal recourse against companies that won't hire them.

    Webb's bill recognizes that there are American companies and that there are multinational companies. There are no American multinational companies.

    For a significant portion of the largest multinationals their profits and more importantly their growth is coming from oversees. Add to this the short term thinking and incentives that characterize business here in the US, and short term profits becomes paramount.

    I've seen the GE technology and to think it doesn't have military application is naive. Can't remember if it was Immelt or their CFO that two weeks ago said they recognize this is cutting edge technology but the company can't afford to not sell to China given that country's growing aviation industry.

    Ford has always used engine and drive train technology to achieve its fuel economy targets. They probably think giving up electric car technology as an offset to gaining increased access to the China market is no big thing.

    If the US doesn't protect its intellectual resources, don't count on big business to do it.


  34. To deny a customer the right to walk in and close her account is tantamount to stealing that customer's money.

    The Mayor ought to pull their Business License.

  35. .

    Those things are in a different category, from wind turbines and electric cars.

    That's the thinking that got us into the situation we are in right now.

    Of course, as I've said before, my views on free trade have admittedly been changing.

    Most countries in the world have industries they identify as critical and which they protect. We, like most, protect agriculture. The Chinese designate a lot more as critical and they do whatever it takes to protect them.

    Many forget that China has a much bigger employment (or unemployment if you like) problem than we do. They have to find jobs to employ tens of millions of new people entering the work force each year.

    If we want jobs here we need to actively fight for them


  36. China has some pretty large problems (actually, Very large problems) looming in the not-too-distant future.

    They're being forced to import more, and more Coal, at higher, and higher prices. (Their whole schtick is based on coal.)

    They have a terrible, to nonexistent in some places, Rail System. They make headlines with "bullet trains," but they can't get their crops from the North down to the South.

    And, they, of course, like us, are major oil importers.

    In the long run, history may not be kind to countries that must import Both energy, And food.

  37. We, on the other hand, are Huge exporters of Food,

    and if we put that 30,000,000 Acres of CRP Land into switchgrass, or corn, or somesuch, could just about get out of the Energy Importing business.

  38. I would not take any steps to defend the Obama "Jobs Plan".

    Do not even know what it entails, in detail. not that familiar with the "broad strokes", either.

    It was doomed to fail from the out set, in the legislature. So to study it, a waste of time.
    Given that, it would not surprise me if it was part of a general expansion of Federal power and authority.

    That the "Jobs Bill" is another symptom of creeping fascism, more than likely.

    It is a bi-partisan affliction, while acknowledging Mr Webb is a Democrat, today, that worked for Mr Reagan, back in that day.

  39. I could get on board with infrastructure projects that look to Future needs - things like "building out the electric grid, electrifying railroads, building ethanol/biodiesel refineries, etc."

    I can't see making 6-lane highways into 8-lane highways in a time of movement to smaller, and fewer cars, and freight being transferred from truck to rail.

  40. I think a smart politician should run on a 50 state energy independence private ifrastructre project.
    They could call it the Rural and Urban Fuel for the United States (RUFUS) Project.

  41. .

    Sometimes the names change if we are lucky but rarely anything else.

    Fannie and Freddy?

    While banks still make mortgages, right now, they are selling most of them to Fannie and Freddy. And F&F are currently government enterprises.


    Last week, almost 3,000 people descended on the Hyatt Regency in Chicago for the 98th annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

    Nothing wrong with a bit of schmoozing. But it might seem jarring that Freddie, which was rescued by Washington and today exists at the pleasure of taxpayers, paid $80,000 to become a “platinum” sponsor of this shindig. Fannie Mae, that other ward of the state, paid $60,000 to become a “gold” sponsor.

    Keep in mind that taxpayers bailed out Fannie and Freddie to the tune of about $150 billion...

    Why Does a Government-Owned Monopoly Have to Spend Taxpayer Dollars to Party With The Banks?


  42. .

    I know little about Rahm Emmanual except the descriptions of him in the press and his infamous quote about not letting a good crisis go to waste.

    However, I tend to agree with the direction he is taking (as described in the attached article) since becoming mayor of Chicago.

    A Progressive in the Age of Austerity


  43. The video seems to be damning to the Citibank as well as NYPD, but what’s the whole story? Why were they arrested inside? I’m assuming they were all customers closing their accounts.

    This is exactly the fuel the movement needs. Are the authority really that scared at this point? There are other things everyone should do. Start and m ove your money to local banks and to credit unions and such, not only will that bring about real change by hitting these corporations with the last remaining power we have, but we’ll also be putting our money in the hands of local enterprises who actually invest in our communities and small local businesses.

  44. It's amazing how many of these pols that want to borrow, and spend Trillions at the Federal level become rational when they're given responsibilities at the Local level.

  45. Rufus II said... To deny a customer the right to walk in and close her account is tantamount to stealing that customer's money.

    You don't have to close the account and risk jail time, just have everyone make a withdrawal from their account of everything except the minimum balance. Then when the fucking bank goes tits up the next day, the FDIC will kick out the remaining balance to each depositor.

  46. The NYTimes article about Da Mayor:

    ...."His city has thousands of job openings going unfilled, he says: “I had two young C.E.O.’s in the health care software business in the other day, sitting at this table. I asked them: ‘What can I do to help you?’ They said, ‘We have 50 job openings today, and we can’t find people.’ ”

    Doug Oberhelman, the C.E.O. of Caterpillar, which is based in Illinois, was quoted in Crain’s Chicago Business on Sept. 13 as saying: “We cannot find qualified hourly production people, and, for that matter, many technical, engineering service technicians, and even welders, and it is hurting our manufacturing base in the United States. The education system in the United States basically has failed them, and we have to retrain every person we hire.”

    Burn the teachers' unions.

  47. The cost of living, in NY City, quite high.

    Same with regards the local taxes.

    NY City is not a favorable place to live, let alone work.

    Little wonder they cannot find qualified laborers, there.

    If the educators, across the country, are failing their communities.
    Well, blame the communities.
    Not the "Unions".

    The "Unions" are operating in their members best interests. The School Boards and Administrators, theirs.

    The only losers, the children and community, at large.

    Education is locally run, the fault for poor performance, is local, too.

    It is in the hands of the voters, they get what they vote for, time and again.

  48. Never saw such an active attempt to shift responsibility from those that have it, to the "other".

    Pure partisanship.

    Combined with willful ignorance.

  49. 10. Josh: They are somehow getting foreign labor to take jobs at $266/month.

    My galpal's nephew in Manila is making PHP 400 per day, works on air-conditioning systems. That's $228 a month, after graduating college. Everyone else makes about half that, except for her other nephew, who teaches English in China when they aren't having a spasm over the Spratley Islands. He makes closer to $600 a month. So for the average Filipino OFW, $266 a month is a huge step up. If war comes between Saudi Arabia and Iran, all those hard-working foreign workers will flee, including the doctors, nurses, and air-conditioning system fixers, and you'll have a kingdom of 20 million helpless spoiled brats "Left Behind" wandering among the smoking ruins. I'm sure their course of studies in Q'u'r'a'n memorization will come in handy.

  50. Jeebus,

    If you think this real estate mess is going to be over anytime soon . . . . . . .

    Shadow Inventory and lying, thieving banks

  51. One half of all the scientists that have ever lived are working today. And, it seems like the ones that aren't working on bio-engineering are working on Solar.

    Even Cheaper, and More Efficient Thin-film

    The question: can the scientists pull us forward faster than the lying, thieving, rotten bankers can pull us back?

  52. Libyan fighters fanned out in Tripoli neighborhoods yesterday to search for armed supporters of fugitive leader Moammar Khadafy.

  53. It is not just real estate Rufus. I would point out that the banking industry is in far more trouble than they or the US or other governments want the public to know - more the American zombie banks and the many banks in the EU exposed to Greek debt.

    But here lies the overall problem. Why has QE which has gone to bankers to rebuild their shattered balance sheets - not worked and brought the economy of the US and UK / EU back from the brink of a major Depression?

    The answer is simple - all the banks were trading on debt. The Euros were lending to the Greek government who were basing growth and public spending on debt. Sub Prime was giving out debt to people who could not afford it.

    Neo-Con deregulating of banks has simply led to growth of the US and UK economy by debt financing. But there are limits to that, and once over those limits there is only marginal business, like sub-Prime, like the Greek government - which are not at all risk free.

    A key reason the economies of the West are not growing is that the banks have no-one to lend to now who is not marginal and not risk free.

    Now add public sector spending cuts to the mix - idiotic at a time of no private demand and no debt growth - and we are exactly where we are now. Stagnation with recession looming in both the US and the EU.

    Even IF Greece does not default and the Euro does not break up - expect long term stagnation in the US, UK and Euroland for up to a decade, until QE is paid back.

  54. The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was killed by an employee angry over being disciplined for misconduct, not terrorists, a NATO official said yesterday.

  55. I've been saying on this site, as well as others, since the crash, that we are in for, at least, a long, hard decade.

    I've been avoiding the "perfect storm" analogy for 3 yrs, due to its serial overuse; but, Damn, this is the "perfect storm" if ever there was a perfect storm.

  56. In London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke to a crowd of 1,000, then threw sweets to them before being whisked away by cops.

    In Hong Kong, 600 demonstrators gathered in the financial district and held signs calling banks a cancer.

    In Portugal, which has been hit hard with economic problems, 40,000 people marched.

  57. Oil prices, alone, should be enough to keep us in, and out, of recession for a minimum of ten years.

    Add in the Real Estate debacle, a paradigm shift in manufacturing, and a horrible trade policy with China, resulting in a mass exodus of manufacturing jobs, and in insanely inane Corporate Tax regime causing huge amounts of our investment dollars hoarded overseas, and . . .. .. . what the hell?