The U.S. and Chinese governments have nearly completed negotiations on a Chinese Bilateral Investment Treaty, which will make it easier for American companies to invest in China, and vice versa.
Such a treaty would serve the interests of the Chinese government and American corporations, but not necessarily the interests of American citizens and workers.
At the same time, the U.S. government is confronting China militarily in the South China Sea. And President Obama is trying to sell the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement on the basis that it will enable the United States and not China to write the rules of international trade.
But this new treaty, based on what has been reported about it, will make the U.S. and Chinese economies even more interlocked than before.
The problem from my standpoint as an American citizen is the difference between the status of Chinese corporations and U.S.-based corporations in their home countries. Chinese corporations serve the goals of Chinese government policy. U.S.-based corporations serve the interests of their executives and stockholders, and them alone.
A U.S. investment in China could take the form of buying shares in Chinese companies, or it could take the form building factories or even retail stores in China. The same would be true of Chinese investments in the United States.
Currently Chinese investment in the United States is greater than U.S. investment in China. That is a natural result of the Chinese trade surplus. Dollars that Chinese earn through exports have to go somewhere. Some of them are used to buy Treasury bonds to help finance the federal government. Others go to buy American assets.