How to have a safe Fourth of July (but still play with fireworks)
Yes, that’s right, fireworks are on the list of the $300 billion in Chinese goods targeted for tariffs.
President Trump is promising a “huge” fireworks display in Washington, D.C., this year, but will it be a dark sky on July 4, 2020?
Not according to Secretart of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. He sees a path to a trade deal completion this year.
According to Bruce Zoldan, the CEO of Fantom Fireworks in Ohio, it is impossible to get fireworks anywhere but China. He sees the new tariffs as a serious threat, so much so that he met with White House officials last month.
He is hoping for an exemption from the expected tariffs. The fireworks shipments have long since arrived in the U.S. for this year’s grand festivities, so we are safe for our country’s holiday to celebrate our independence.
That said, the jury is out for 2020.
The real poster child (for intellectual property theft) for this trade negotiation with China has been Huawei, the Chinese electronics and telecommunications company that leads the world in 5G patents by a long shot.
The U.S. is rightfully concerned with hidden back doors in their phone switches, computers and mobile phones. Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei is a retired Chinese military engineer who has a legal obligation to represent his country’s interests.
In 2017, a new Chinese national intelligence law in Article 7 made it even more clear how a Chinese citizen or organization is legally required to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work in accordance with the law.”
Huawei’s denials of collaboration with the Chinese military have been many. As recently as this past week, Bloomberg discovered a collaboration on CNKI.net on multiple study projects between Huawei’s employees and the Chinese military to use “artificial intelligence to determine emotions in online video comments” and “analyzing satellite images.”
One of the most granular discoveries comes from Peter Bright from Arstechnica.com. His article discusses Microsoft’s Defender anti-malware program that found a back door on one of Huawei’s Matebook laptop drivers.
The driver was created by Huawei and it was using code from the previously hacked National Security Administration’s program called DoublePulsar that has been used in malicious software after being stolen from the NSA in 2017.
The code has been removed as of January in a system update, but it makes you seriously question our security.
Our country’s trade negotiations with China have nothing to do with fireworks, but they have everything to do with intellectual property theft, trade imbalances, government subsidies and unfairly dumping cheap materials and products in the U.S.
Our patents need to be protected and our private companies should not be competing with a country’s government to offer a product.
China has become an economic powerhouse and their leader President Xi Jinping intends on making China great again. We need to hold them accountable to fair trade and to require them to protect our businesses and our property rights.
Danny Wood is an independent financial advisor and owner of SeaCoast Financial Partners in Bradenton. To learn more visit MySeaCoastfinancial.com.