On whether the tariffs Trump imposed on Chinese products should be rolled back:
Yes, I would remove them — and as quickly as possible. (See below for how to better address the issue.)
On how the candidate would address issues that could put Americans at a disadvantage, such as IP theft:
"In addition to intellectual property theft, a range of other Chinese trade practices — from subsidizing entire industries to running state-owned enterprises — are unfair and unjust. We must take appropriate action to get China to follow the "rules of the road", starting with convening the world together to enforce proper conduct on these issues. We must take immediate action.
"The primary mechanism on trade must be the World Trade Organization, which we do need to fix, but which offers the means to leverage our power and the power of all of our allies and friends around the world. As it stands, China is treated like a developing economy — which grants them "special and differential treatment" — but we need the countries in the WTO to realize that the market capitalism of most countries and the state capitalism of China are two very different systems.
"China's Communist Party controls its economy with an extremely heavy hand, using state-owned enterprises, along with companies heavily influenced or directed by the state, to dominate a range of industries. We will have to start by changing WTO rules, which were originally written mainly to prevent dumping.
"Simply put, the WTO was not set up to deal with a vast, mercantile state using opaque subsidies and state-owned firms so its companies can compete unfairly on the world stage, distorting global trade on a scale far bigger than anyone anticipated — particularly with China's GDP now at nearly 75% of the US GDP. The WTO needs to create a more realistic definition of what kind of state support counts as a subsidy, redefine what a public company/public body is (changing the erroneous WTO appellate body ruling in 2003), and broaden the scope of banned subsidies.
"We must also make it easier to gather information on the wrongdoing of China, and if China does not comply by providing information, that will factor into decisions that go against them. The opacity of China makes it far too difficult to judge wrongdoing in trade practices. The WTO must lower the burden of proof for complainants challenging China's unfair trade practices and expedite the process by which cases are decided (60 days should be the limit).
"In summary, the WTO needs to treat the Chinese government's role in Chinese businesses for what it is: a raft of subsidies keeping Chinese enterprises floating above everyone else's. And, finally, the WTO also needs to play a strong role in addressing the $300 billion theft of US intellectual property, sapping potential revenue from countless American firms.
"With the world agreeing to this and standing firm together against China, it will prove to be in China's interest to support a fair global trading system, or else it will face a decline in its economic prosperity. If we are unable to reach agreement among the 164 nations of the WTO on these issues, we will have to establish a plurilateral agreement among the world's largest economies within the WTO to force China's hand.
"Such an agreement within the WTO would permit the world's largest economies to enforce the WTO's rulings against China, but with an agreement that the same rulings would not be enforced against poorer developing nations. We must succeed in these efforts — the welfare of our entire economy is at stake — but we can only do so if we convene the world and stand with our allies and friends on behalf of a rules-based global order."
On whether the Hong Kong protests and treatment of the Uighur population should be tied to the trade dispute with China:
"I am deeply concerned about the human rights situation in China, especially in Hong Kong, and among the minority Muslim Uighur population, and traditionally Buddhist Tibetans. As the leading country of the rules-based world order organized around liberal values, we must consistently speak out against oppression and injustice, whether in China or any other country.
"But our trade policy must by necessity be focused mainly on correcting a different set of injustices — intellectual property theft, illegal subsidies, dumping, etc. However, as we get China to follow the rules of the road on fair trade, we will increasingly use our leverage to improve the human rights situation. But, again, we alone will not be able to get the results we want.
"We need to utilize our allies and international institutions, because only international solidarity will be able to constrain China and their autocratic values."
On whether Huawei is a national security threat and subject to sanctions:
"Yes, it is a direct threat to national security and it should be subject to sanctions, but also much more. We must convene the world to ensure that alternatives to Chinese technology exist, especially in information technology. Chinese corporations, led by Huawei, are now connecting at least two-thirds of the world's population to the transformational speed of the 5G network.
"China is making every country that signs up for its "Belt and Road Initiative" agree to add China's 5G service as well. Even in countries that don't have Belt and Road agreements, China will still dominate 5G because Chinese companies make the wireless tower technology. This is arguably the greatest threat facing us from China. 5G will revolutionize economies — and warfare — particularly for those who build the network and therefore own it — and the United States does not even make the wireless equipment to do it.
"China's ownership of 5G will give it a police-state capability to surveil everything on the network, both for commercial and intelligence purposes: whether it is to observe virtual business meetings or to close down critical infrastructure — from our electrical grid to nuclear power plants — during international tensions.
"And to ensure it has "eyes" on everything, data not passed through wireless systems will pas into China' hands via the undersea fiber-optic cables it is laying, which connecting the world's continents and carry more than 95% of all international communications traffic. Between the undersea cables and 5G, China will see and hear everything.
"Only by convening the world can we prevent Huawei and other companies — and therefore the Chinese government — from owning all of the information that passes through their 5G system. That will mean serious public-private investment, but it will be well worth it.
"To make matters worse, our corporations have outsourced our national security by allowing China to create a virtual monopoly in manufacturing the supply chains that make so many corporations' high-tech products, well beyond 5G towers. China makes 90% of personal computers sold in the United States, and 75% of mobile phones.
"Chinese-made motherboards are used in data servers worldwide, and according to landmark reporting from Bloomberg News last year, they are already sneaking in tiny microchips that can be used for spying. From Apple and Amazon to the Defense Department and the CIA, our entire business and national security establishment is in danger.
"This means that private data of Americans — and of the American government — can be surreptitiously sent to China, as software installed on some Android phones already makes possible today.
"Outsourcing jobs and industries to China has been bad enough, but outsourcing our national security is beyond the pale."