Monday, May 17, 2004

It looks as though transnational capital is continuing to have a rough go at healing over the US-EU rift. From Friday's FT (subscription only):
The US House of Representatives is threatening to restrict the sale of US military equipment and technologies to European allies if the European Union decides to lift its arms embargo on China.

The House armed services committee late on Wednesday approved legislation that would slap new export restrictions on sales of US defence and sensitive commercial technologies to any country that sells arms to China.

In addition, the committee adopted an amendment that would bar the Pentagon for five years from doing any business with a company that sells arms to China, a prohibitive penalty for any of the European defence companies.

US officials said the bill was a "shot across the bows" that is aimed at strongly discouraging the EU from lifting its ban on arms sales to China.
But I thought the best way to reform the Chinese was to engage them in trade, not retreat back into "economic isolationism" as our esteemed USTR Robert Zoellick warns! Or as our illustrious Treasury Secretary John Snow repeatedly advises, maintaining "persistent engagement" with China is the best policy. Isn't it?


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