"Economic and trade reforms begun in 1979 have helped transform China into one of the world's biggest and fastest-growing economies. China's economic growth and trade liberalization, including comprehensive trade commitments made upon its entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, have led to a sharp expansion in U.S.-China commercial ties. Yet, bilateral trade relations have become increasingly strained in recent years over a number of issues, including China's: mixed record on implementing its WTO obligations; infringement of U.S. intellectual property (such as through cyber theft of U.S. trade secrets and forced technology requirements placed on foreign firms); increased use of industrial policies to promote and protect domestic Chinese firms; extensive trade and foreign investment restrictions; lack of transparency in trade rules and regulations; distortionary economic policies that have led to overcapacity in several industries; and its large merchandise trade surplus with the United States. China's economic and trade conditions, policies, and acts have a significant impact on the U.S. economy as whole as well as specific U.S. sectors and thus have been of concern to Congress. This report provides an overview of U.S.-China commercial ties, identifies major issues of contention, describes the Trump Administration's trade policies toward China, and reviews possible outcomes."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33536