As things remain tense between China and the U.S., the Biden administration has announced this week they would maintain a hard-line economic approach towards the nation by enforcing Trump-era tariffs and targeting Chinese subsidies for private industry. This comes months after the Senate passed a $250 billion spending package meant to counter Chinese investments in important tech sectors such as semiconductor manufacturing. Now, those with an inside perspective are beginning to weigh in on the situation.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell described the current China-U.S. relationship as “a little bit frosty at the moment, and we could be heading toward a bipolar world…That creates, certainly, challenges.” However, Dell believes “it’s great that the U.S. is now starting to focus on some of these forward strategic industries.”
Last year, China announced a $1.4 trillion, a five-year tech investment plan that aims to support key industries like artificial intelligence and wireless infrastructure. At the same time, the nation has been cracking down on major tech companies like Alibaba to limit their overall influence.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., an industrial policy like this has long been ignored by past administrations. “For decades, there’s been zero industrial policy — it was kind of a dirty phrase,” said Dell. “But when you have an incredible nation, like China, deterministically investing in these strategic industries, and the U.S. doing absolutely nothing and sort of getting hollowed out in areas like semiconductors — that’s a real danger.”
This is why those like Dell are quite supportive of the massive $250 tech investment bill, dubbed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. While the bill passed the Senate in May, it has yet to be brought back up in the House of Representatives for a final vote. “It’s great that the U.S. is now focused on this,” Dell said. “I hope it’s not too late.”