As the Trump administration is working to complete the first phase of an agreement to end the trade war with China, it is easy to focus on the unfair policies and practices that the U.S. has urged China to stop.
While it is important for President Trump and U.S. allies to finally succeed in getting the Chinese to avoid unfair practices such as stealing intellectual property, it is also naïve to think that doing so will be enough for the U.S. to win the race to become the global leader in future industries.
The reality is that in many of these sectors, China has established itself as a leader not only by flouting global trade laws, but also by smartly investing in basic techniques such as 5 G, virtual identities, and electronic payments.
It is time for the U.S. to follow the lead of China to develop comprehensive national policies to support the development of these technologies. This will drive growth in U.S. competitiveness thus helping the U.S. compete against China.
China tops the US across the board in industries
One of the key aspects of the next wave of IT technology is that it will eventually change all sectors, not just the tech industry itself. Yet adopting policies to help drive the transition is important for governments. China is doing that as it strives to be the leading IT economy in the world.
China has an ambitious plan to set up a national smart grid with the first step to be completed in two years. There is no such policy in the United States; it depends on states to make haphazard progress.
China is home to about half of the world’s 1,000 “smart cities” projects. Hangzhou’s “City Brain,” for example, controls traffic signals and monitors ambulances as they drive to hospitals so that red lights can turn green. Just a few American cities have smart city programs, and only $160 million has been invested in them by the federal government.