Thus far, the Trump administration’s policies have largely failed to position US interests for success in this escalating US-China technology competition. It acknowledges in that the countries are strategic competitors. Focusing on trade deficits, boosting tariffs, and restricting immigration are precisely the wrong ways to address the strategic dilemmas raised by the intensifying US-China technology race. The evolving competition is complex, and will require an integrated and thoughtful effort on the part of government policymakers and US commercial entities and universities. Moreover, it will likely last for decades. Grains and commodities are vitally important to the foundation of our comprehensive national power, but brain power will drive economic growth forward. China’s leaders recognize this reality, are looking past the “sesame seeds” of the trade deficit, and have firmly grasped the “watermelon” by focusing on accelerating development of high-tech industries. The question is, how soon will Washington catch up?

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