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Updated Apr 12, 2023, 12:28pm EDT
businessNorth America

Former Sec. Pritzker: Decoupling from China is ‘very scary’

Sec. Pritzker
Tasos Katopodis for Semafor
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The News

Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker warned against severing economic ties with China at Semafor’s inaugural World Economy Summit on Wednesday, saying that “decoupling” is “very scary.”

“Frankly, the two largest economies need to work together,” she said. “Decoupling is very scary...what is going to happen is, at some point, American business is going to look at itself and say, ‘It’s not worth it.’ Or ‘I can’t afford to be active in both places I’m going to have to pick that isn’t good for the world.’”

She said that that the U.S. and China want to be in dialogue with each other and that both countries “realize this escalation is very dangerous.”

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“We need our governments talking to one another,” she said. “We stopped doing that in the last four or five years and that’s extremely dangerous.”

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Step Back

As tensions rise between the U.S. and China, political leaders have been calling on businesses to reduce activities in each country.

But major corporations have resisted pressures. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited China and met with the country’s finance minister, discussing things like supply chain stabilization.

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U.S. lawmakers have been more vocal, with a bipartisan Congressional committee recently grilling the CEO of TikTok over national security and privacy concerns.

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The View From France

In a recent visit to China, French President Emmanuel Macron said he has no interest in decoupling France’s and Europe’s economy from China.

During that trip, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury signed an agreement in Tianjian to start a new A320 jet assembly line.

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