How many NBA players have tweeted in support of Hong Kong?

As I am writing this post, zero (perhaps someone has done so by the time this pops up, but it won’t have been much).  And yet there are about 300 players on opening day NBA rosters, more in the preseason of course, maybe 450?

Presumably the league has, either directly or indirectly, told them not to run off at the mouth on this topic.

I don’t feel I am trafficking in unjust stereotypes to note that many of these guys are pretty big, pretty tough, and not so used to being pushed around.  They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and also countries and income classes.

One hypothesis is that all three hundred of these individuals are craven cowards, worthy of our scorn.  Maybe.

Another hypothesis, closer to my view, is that it has turned out sports leagues (and players) are neither the most efficient nor the most just way to combat social and political problems related to China.

There is plenty of worthwhile China-related legislation and regulation on tap, including expanding the role for CFIUS, discouraging our allies from using Huawei 5G, and protesting against American companies working in Xinjiang (and yes that does include the NBA training camp there).  Human rights legislation related to Xinjiang is another plausible option, though I have not studied the details of those proposals.

It is fine to favor those and other measures — in conjunction with our allies as much as possible — while simultaneously thinking this is not the NBA’s fight.  Trump himself is far more “anti-China” than any other U.S. president in recent times, and he too decided to push this issue aside.

Should you really feel so much better about “the NBA standing up to China” if they are doing it because the U.S. Congress has intimidated them into this new form of “free speech”?

What I observe happening is that many people have been “dropping the ball” on China for years.  A highly visible issue comes up, and one where they also can take a potshot at multinational corporations.  So they take an isolated stand on an isolated case, mood affiliating on two different issues at once, namely “stand up to China,” and “criticize corporations for their craven corruptness.”

I say think through the problem in the broadest possible terms.  The approach of “sound coordinated measures through our government and its allies, while retaining commercial friendliness and political neutrality for MNCs” is in fact a pretty good one.  It could be much worse, and most likely it soon will be so.


NBA players believe in one US, not a north and a south, and they believe in One China, not China, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xinxiang, Taiwan, etc.

Only in giant empires are racial minorities treated with respect.

God bless China for taking down traitorous Democratic organizations like the NBA and Apple. When Marxists fight each other, America wins!

ESPN/Disney. Using the map China wants, what China thinks is theirs.

Time to remove tax favoritism.

I’m waiting for the Apple, Mickey/ESPN and NBA logos to be photoshopped with the hammer and sickle.

Drag in Nike.

We are in a Cold War.

This conundrum is unwinnable. Either American companies and Americans kowtow to China or China sabotages your business. The ONLY answer is to end all business ties with China. Smart companies would begin this now.

The CCP discovered the Achilles heel of the USA - greed. They are going to divide and conquer.

We are a nation of cucks sadly.

Remember: when athletes (or celebrities, or foreign high school students, or others with mental incapacity) rip Trump, Tyler will note their bravery and cite them as Global Inspirational Heroes.

But when they criticize communism? It's "Shut up, boy --- this is not the most efficient way to combat social problems!"

We could also ask why you are more animated about this than the murder of the Kurds.

Is it because in one case Trump gives you enough leash to be "a good guy?"

And the other would actually force a decision, on your part?

It would make way more sense to keep a permanent trip wire force of OPs on the border of a NATO ally to prop up a communist ethno-state. We’ve truly hit peak insanity.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Kurdish government gives their tacit approval to the Turks. Of course.

Anytime you see someone who has spent zero time in the sandbox make a comment like “the Kurds” as if they are a monolith, you’re being lied to either intentionally or unintentionally. It’s about as useful as saying “the Arabs.”

The long run equilibrium is not a Marxist Kurdish state in northeastern Syria run by the PKK. The long run equilibrium is they cut a deal with Assad for semi-autonomy.

Sure, the entire news media, diplomats, and serving US forces are wrong to say "the Kurds."

Only you are right.

But on the tripwire, that was actually consensus. We had two allies (to us) who hated each other. We had brokered an agreement, and set a separation at minimum expense.

That was all thrown away, and people are now dying, and no one has even proposed a plausible reason!

The only people who support this move are the cruelest deplorables, who just want to see ruin.

We've got dumb guys like Dan Crenshaw understanding what is happening, without really adding 2+2:

"The great irony of the “no more endless wars” camp’s argument is that removing our small and cost-effective force from Northern Syria is causing more war, not less.

Our presence there was not meant to engage in endless wars, it was there to deter further warfare."

He's right, but he refuses to see his responsibility in making it happen.

Once you are in Trump's pocket, you get whatever random and self-serving things *he* wants.

To take this one step further, when Dan Crenshaw just tweets powerlessly about "policy," while saying nothing about limiting the power of the president,

Trump is unbound.

He sees that Dan Crenshaw will never talk impeachment. Probably Tyler Cowen will never talk impeachment. You will never talk impeachment.

Trump has learned that he can act directly and openly against the national interest, with no consequences.

Mood affiliation is a helluva drug.

I’m going to assume all these comments are you and not the troll. Let’s review. I’m getting the impression you have no idea what you are talking about, apart from what you see on Twitter or CNN. Is it fair to say this entire topic is well outside of your area of professional expertise, so much so that you have no body of knowledge or experience to draw from? In good faith and under the operating assumption that most MR readers have a similar level of unfamiliarity.....

Effort post time? Effort post time.

The PKK is a Marxist-Leninist Kurdish organization founded by Abdullah Öcalan. The English name is the Kurdish Workers Party, an obvious homage to Bolshevism.

Starting in 1984, the PKK has engaged in an on again off again civil war against the Turkish government. This war has claimed 40,000 lives, mostly Turkish civilians.

Accordingly, and due to the regular use of terror attacks on civilians by the PKK, it is officially listed as a terror organization by the US, EU, NATO, among others.

Northeast Syria is a mix of ethnicities, with both Arab and Kurdish populations. During the Turkish conflict with the PKK, the porous border between Turkey and Syria allowed for personnel and matériel to flow through. Think Af-Pak border.

Due to the civil war, the Assad regime basically accepted that the PKK would have de facto control over the northeast part of the country. The PKK then reengaged the war with Turkey in 2015.

Then, ISIS arrived on the world stage. Turkey began a policy of allowing ISIS fighters and cash to pass through the border, hoping this would reduce PKK’s hold on the territory. ISIS then attacked their biggest threat in the area, the PKK!

Officially, this started a war between two internationally (and by the US!) terrorist organizations, both of which have caused thousands of civilian casualties. This put the US in an awkward position.

So, the CIA reflagged the PKK fighters as the Syrian Democratic Forces so we could pass arms and cash to them without running afoul of international and domestic law. A convenient fiction indeed.

After ISIS was degraded to the point of not holding territory, the “SDF” aka PKK was the last man standing. The US realized what a crazy position it had put itself in, and posted observation posts along the border as a tripwire force.

The PKK now has de facto control over a swath of Syria along the Turkish border, and it will not come as a surprise that the Turkish side of the border is the traditional power base of the PKK.

Turkey sees this as a red line, especially since the civil war started back up in 2015. Their supposed ally, the US, was backing their most dangerous security threat with arms, cash, air strikes, and now literal protection from Turkish forces.

In a phone call in which Trump probably has the same level of knowledge of the average child, he agreed to withdraw the tripwire force.

Like it or don’t, but the entire tactical and strategic situation was a shitshow. A tripwire force in a hostile country to prevent the only useful ally in NATO from attacking a communist guerrilla army that has been conducting bombings of civilians for 35 years.

TLDR : it’s more complicated than Kurd good, orange man bad

Solid comment, +5 internet points

Filled with facts, but devoid of crucial details, an argument that we will never need these Kurds against ISIS, that ISIS is gone forever, that the region will be more aligned to US interests, or that we have any kind of backup position with genuine allies in the region.

"Turkey began a policy of allowing ISIS fighters and cash to pass through the border, hoping this would reduce PKK’s hold on the territory."

Sounds like just the guys to back, eh?

Maybe the previous tension, and two sides to play off, was good.

I don’t understand your response. I never proffered an argument at all. I only described to you the strategic and tactical situation and what led to it.

Are you okay? I usually don’t delve into the comments section that much. But the mischaracterizing of my comment seems both deliberate and malicious. And pointless?

In any event, here’s a free lesson on the Middle East.

It’s never wise to map a morality play to tribal conflict.

How can you possibly be confused?

The entire question here is what is in the National interest, going forward.

My comments, which you are in replying to, are all about the national interest, going forward.

And now what, you want to say you're talking history and not national interest, going forward?

What? You clearly didn’t understand the situation, so I filled you in. In good faith.

No offense, but I get the impression you have an agenda and our security situation in Syria is an excuse to shift a conversation towards domestic tribal politics.

So no thanks. The partisan food fight is boring to me, and I’m not seeing any good faith in your comments.

Here's what I think. My level of understanding is entirely consistent with that Foreign Affairs article.

You want to paint it or something else because you have an agenda.

Foreign Affairs is not so sanguine:

"Erdogan’s proposal might be the perfect solution for his domestic woes, but it is sure to create a host of new problems for everyone else." (Including us.)

And I quote:

"And the plan is a godsend to the United States’ adversaries in Syria—Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime—who believe they can stand by while the Turkish incursion prompts a complete U.S. withdrawal, only to recapture the area and kick out Turkey later on."

Makes you wonder what "Woah" is really up to.

I don’t get the joke, is this a trolling thing? I laid out the facts and I’m what, a Russian spy?

Is this entire thing a set up to get dragged into trolling ?

"Makes you wonder what "Woah" is really up to"

Jesus H Christ on a popsicle stick, are you utterly incapable of making an argument without jumping to ad hominem within 5 sentences? I'm not even sure I disagree with you, even given "Woah"'s utterly correct background, but you manage to f* it up every time by not actually addressing anything of substance.

That is not an ad hominem.

An ad hominem is to say X's argument is bad, because X is bad.

I didn't do that. I linked you to Foreign Affairs (did you read it?) and then basically said, I don't even know what's up with this guy.

Common Trump apologist is most likely.


So, what's up with that guy?

What's up with you?

You’re confusing ad hominem with the ad hominem fallacy. Also from a cursory google search it looks like “Woah” explicitly said Trump should be impeached in a comments section from earlier this week. He/she also called Trump a child in his/her main comment today.

Really? That makes this whole thing more bizarre, to attempt to school me that the Kurds ("don't call them Kurds!") were bad communists, and not natural allies .. because why?

Not, I think, because abandoning them is in the national interest.

Putting Netanyahu on the other side shows that this was impetuous at best. So why argue with me, if you want to impeach Trump, and understand the region?

Just to argue with me?

Shrug. Looks like he/she was drawing a distinction between ‘the Kurds’ and the PKK.

Motte and bailey and all that. Which is a fallacy.

Note: Trump's positions on China may overlap good ones, but not because he has a sophisticated morality.

It comes on the same day he quotes Russian state media to say there is no whistleblower, and it is all a plot by Democrats.

I'll take what I can get there, but I don't think it's realistic to expect much.

China is playing our businesses and organizations like a cat to a mouse. When states pick on companies, states win. Now that Apple and Blizzard have been forced to censor on behalf of the CCP in the last 48 hours, I don't think it is fair to place blame on the NBA. I agree. It is not their fight. The responsibility belongs squarely on the US government to defend American interests abroad. Trump has been quiet as a mouse while US companies are forced to kowtow to China. TRUMP, wake the f*** up! Your stupid trade deals are not going to happen. America decided values matter more than evil money plays.

There is a dangerous asymmetry at work here. Twitter is banned in China but China is able to delete tweets that go out to the rest of the world. They are abusing the freedoms we worked hard to keep in our societies and using it against us. They can observe the openness of our societies to find weak spots but we cannot see what is happening in China.

Trump is next to useless. Like Ann Coulter said he's "the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States"

He'll be the first to kowtow to China's hurt feelings to keep his daughter's Chinese trademarks safe:

Trump is Neville Chamberlain. The NBA is IBM. China is Nazi Germany.

Calm down.

So that is it then. Munich for our time.

China's censorship through multi-national corporations has revealed a Freedom-Globalization-Nonintervention trilemma or even a Libertarian-Nonintervention dilemma:

1(a) Freedom at home
1(b) Globalization: free trade and association across borders
2) Nonintervention: take no interest in how free other countries are, i.e., "stay out of other countries' affairs"

What we see now is that, in a globalized world, tyranny in China doesn't actually stay in China: China can censor what Americans say to other Americans in America if those Americans happen to work for firms that do business in China. That's true of the NBA, airlines, Hollywood studios, and even academics that wish to attend conferences and collaborate with researchers in China.

We can either recognize an American interest in promoting freedom in other countries, limit the links between the US and non-free countries (limit Globalization), or resign ourselves to less freedom at home. We have to choose one. Libertarians might (properly in my view) say that 1(a) and 1(b) are not separable: freedom includes freedom to associate and trade with whomever one wants. In that case, we face a Libertarian-Nonintervention dilemma: we can either recognize an American interest in promoting freedom abroad or we can sacrifice our own freedom at home.

One can view shining-city-on-a-hill Reaganism as choosing Freedom and Globalization and, thus, recognizing the need for Interventionism. One can view Trumpism as rejecting Globalization in favor of Non-interventionism. Progressive foreign policy seems somewhat muddled and incoherent but at times seems to favor Globalization and Non-interventionism, for example when ceding sovereignty to international bodies like the UN without requiring that those bodies favor freedom-promoting countries over authoritarian countries.

There is no trilemma. Free trade does not mean people are forced to do business with China, only that they can if they want to, and freedom for Chinese includes their right not to do business with people they find offensive. The Chinese are essentially adopting our “cancel culture.” Although I don’t like cancel culture, it is not a threat to freedom and the government has no business cracking down on it; the same is true of China.

You are missing that it is the Chinese government that is censoring Americans. If the US government fines or imposes some other penalty on your employer if it doesn't fire you for criticizing the US government, would you say that there is no "threat to freedom" because your employer has a "right not do business with you". Of course not. The Chinese government imposes penalties on firms that aren't complicit in Chinese censorship: denial of airport slots for non-complicit airlines, cancellation of NBA television broadcasts, censorship of Hollywood movies, denial of visas, etc.

When you say "the Chinese" you are not distinguishing between Chinese individuals and the Chinese government. That's like saying it's ok for the US government to ban a newspaper because "Americans" don't have to read what "they" don't want to.

It isn’t always the Chinese government; at first, the NBA story seemed to be a reaction to the tweet going viral among Chinese consumers. After the NBA apologized, US government leaders started criticizing it even though at that point in the story I had not heard of any involvement by the Chinese government. The Chinese government only stepped in and started cancelling slots after the story was spiraling and the NBA defended Morey.

A bigger point though, I think there is still a difference between what the US government can do—you live here, the US government can massively disrupt your life—versus what the Chinese government can do—i.e. commercial retaliation and denial of visas. Let’s imagine say the Hungarian government threatened the NBA unless it denounced George Soros. Would we think this is a threat to freedom? I would not. Hungary is effectively a private actor vis-a-vis an American because Hungary has no power to fine or arrest said American unless they go to Hungary. China is bigger than Hungary, but it’s still not that big (only about 20% of the world economy, with few important monopolies, and weren’t we just complaining about how China doesn’t buy enough stuff from us?) and the principle is the same.

"there is still a difference between what the US government can do...versus what the Chinese government can do"

That's the globalization part of the trilemma. The more globalization, the more linkage between countries, the more one country's government can do to people in other countries. Think of a financial sector regulator: it can regulate guns by regulating financial firms' dealings with gun manufacturers. That's because non-financial firms like gun manufacturers are linked to financial firms. Regulation of a gun manufacturer's financial activities is regulation of their non-financial activities.

The offending Tweet hit on 04 OCT. On that day the relevant franchise owner said that the tweet did not speak for the franchise and that they were not a political organization.

This should have been the end of things. There might be some grousing about kowtowing, but in the main Americans are willing to believe that corporations can sidestep politics.

On 06 OCT, the Chinese Basketball Association announced that it would stop cooperating with the franchise, even though the owner had already said that these remarks did not reflect any policy of the team. For good measure on this date the state broadcaster announced they would not air the franchise. And just in case it wasn't clear, the largest streaming sports service in China also blacked out the franchise.

It was only on 07 OCT that the NBA, itself, got involved. They initially said that standing with freedom and Hong Kong was "regrettable". And this is when US reactions actually took off. After China reneged on massive contracts. After China elected to collectively punish a team for one individuals tweet that was disavowed by the team.

Frankly, it is moronic to wait until China can do more to establish a norm that this sort of extortion for people exercising basic human freedoms, as formally recognized by China, cannot result in economic blackmail.

China cancelled things a full day before the NBA did anything and several days before the NBA did a half-assed attempt at growing a spine.

+1, well-summarized.

Your timeline lacks Trump's timely response to China in full support of the NBA and free speech. Oh wait, that never happened.

>It is not their fight.

You're missing the point; it is our fight. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."


The NBA doesn’t have to do the silencing when Nike, Under Armor, Addidas, etc can do it for them. All NBA players have multiple bosses, multiple contracts. If the players go against their partner corps, they lose a lot of money

Here's a good piece from SupChina:

Sports and E-sports are the two things that link up the world of young men in the spirit of competition. By banning the NBA and Blizzard's Hearthstone, they are pissing off a rather fanatical bunch that don't back down easily. Given the demographics, they are also some of the loudest people on the internet. When you make your enemies sports fans, gamers, 4chan, 8chan, anonymous, young angry men, in every deep and dark corner of the internet, you will receive something like global karmic retribution and it won't be pretty.

Wait, you want to recruit the Gamergate demographic for your jihad? What are they going to do, send dick pics to the Chinese embassy?

You know that the "Gamergate demographic" fought against the media who sold their soul for big money to the game publishers and doing so pissed off the whole community of gamers, right?

You wish.

Not really.

The basement dwelling internet addicts were already anti-China.

They cleave into 2 camps - the white nationalist, alt-right, neo-Nazi, etc. crowd on the chans et al who are hostile to China for racialist reasons, and the lefty cucks and soyboy gamer types who are hostile to China for gay reasons like China being mean and authoritarian and not being socially leftist enough and not having pride parades etc.

You're not very good at the Internet.

First they came for the Yale professors, but I did not speak out because I don't write e-mails about Halloween costumes...

When they came for the NBA, I shrugged, because self-censorship when confronted by angry socialists is nothing new, and everyone knows the drill by now.

No, first they came for the pangolins, rhinos*, lions, tigers, elephants, turtles, but I said nothing because what are animals compared to twitter and the evergreen spectacle of grown men pounding up and down a court playing netball.

"Since the start of the year, authorities in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong have seized record volumes of threatened species, including 8.3 tonnes of pangolin scales from nearly 14,000 pangolins and its largest ever haul of rhino horns, worth more than $1 million." (Reuters)

It seems to me this is a huge own goal by China. Hong Kong coverage has been relatively sparse in the US with all the impeachment and Syria discussions. But by publicly humiliating a major sports league and overtly pushing their censorship into the US, the CCP has created a monster. Yet again, an authoritarian regime has overstepped because of its extreme aversion to criticism and desire to control the truth. What would have likely been a relatively insignificant pro-HK comment is now generating immense outrage, and it's only getting worse with ESPN displaying a map of China that includes the 9-dashed line. The upshot is that the issue is now much more publicized and apparent to groups that previously paid it little thought - indeed, there are now active protesters showing up at NBA events. I think China may come to regret its actions, because they certainly don't seem to be helping Beijing's image or case.

I disagree, because the Hong Kong protests arguably pose an existential threat to the CCP. The CCP needs to make sure that no one on the mainland gets the impression that it is acceptable to challenge the supremacy of the CCP. Granting Hong Kong real self rule as a result of the protests is not an option available to Chinese leadership, unless they want to be deposed by an intraparty coup. So cutting off access of Chinese folks to respected foreigners who are painting the Hong Kong protesters in a positive light strikes me as a rational move, and certainly not a mistake from a strategic perspective given the CCP’s goals and constraints.

I don't necessarily disagree with your framing, but it seems to me that there are easier ways to suppress a single tweet than snubbing a cultural institution like the NBA and mobilizing a group of otherwise apathetic people in the US. In other words, China's response was to escalate quickly and disproportionately, and that is going to create serious blowback. If their objective was to get people to stop challenging their position on HK, they've failed miserably. So, even if you're right about China's fears (and I think you are), China has only made the problem worse.

"The CCP needs to make sure that no one on the mainland gets the impression that it is acceptable to challenge the supremacy of the CCP. "

The problem is that everything from sports to video games to smartphone apps is now deemed "threatening". This is not a strong move nor is it an effective one. I agree with the post above, this made the average disinterested person outside China now aware of how foolishly authoritarian and overreaching China has become. It is now dinner time conversation when it could very easily have been scuttled away had they the discipline to ignore tweets from internet nobodies like Morey, who most people including Americans had never heard of.

I think China’s plan to use commerce with the West (and the rest of the world) to grow their economy, while keeping information and their citizens under tight control has been shown to be fatally flawed. “One country, two systems” is shown to be a lie as the CCP squeezes Hong Kong. Taiwan and the other countries in the region are now alerted.

This would not have happened if Trump had not chosen to put pressure on China for their selfish trade practices. The denouement will be interesting and a bit frightening to behold.

The problem with "selfish trade practices" is that it can mean anything, including many things market stalwarts are supposed to be for.

"Greed is good."

And Trump's critical error is that he never locked down exactly which things were "unfair" or "bad trade deals."

"selfish trade practices" might be defined so far down now that China making a buck is "bad," and that obviously heightens conflict.
There is little way out of a "trade war" where Trumpists increasingly demand that China lose completely.

I think the President was quite specific, contrary to your claim:

From the White House

From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.
President Donald J. Trump
YEARS OF UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES: China has consistently taken advantage of the American economy with practices that undermine fair and reciprocal trade.

For many years, China has pursued industrial policies and unfair trade practices—including dumping, discriminatory non-tariff barriers, forced technology transfer, over capacity, and industrial subsidies—that champion Chinese firms and make it impossible for many United States firms to compete on a level playing field.
China’s industrial policies, such as its “Made in China 2025” plan, harm companies in the United States and around the world.
China imposes much higher tariffs on United States exports than the United States imposes on China.
China’s average tariff rate is nearly three times higher than the average United States rate.
Certain products are even more imbalanced, for instance the United States charges a 2.5 percent tariff on Chinese cars, while China currently maintains a 25 percent tariff on cars from the United States.
China has banned imports of United States agricultural products such as poultry, cutting off America’s ranchers and farmers from a major market for their goods.
China has dumped and unfairly subsidized a range of goods for the United States market, undermining America’s domestic industry.
In 2018 alone, the Trump Administration has found dumping or unfair subsidies on 13 different products, including steel wheels, cold-drawn mechanical tubing, tool chests and cabinets, forged steel fittings, aluminum foil, rubber bands, cast iron soil pipe and fittings, and large diameter welded pipe.
In January 2018, the Trump Administration found that China’s overproduction of steel and aluminum, and the resulting impact on global markets, is a circumstance that threatens to impair America’s national security.
The United States has run a trade in goods deficit with China for years, including a $375 billion deficit in 2017 alone.
UNDERMINING AMERICAN INNOVATION AND JOBS: China has aggressively sought to obtain technology from American companies and undermine American innovation and creativity.

The cost of China’s intellectual property theft costs United States innovators billions of dollars a year, and China accounts for 87 percent of counterfeit goods seized coming into the United States.
United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Section 301 investigation identified four of China’s aggressive technology policies that put 44 million American technology jobs at risk:
Forced technology transfer;
Requiring licensing at less than economic value;
Chinese state-directed acquisition of sensitive United States technology for strategic purposes; and
Outright cyber theft.
China uses foreign ownership restrictions, administrative review, and licensing processes to force or pressure technology transfers from American companies.
China requires foreign companies that access their New Energy Vehicles market to transfer core technologies and disclose development and manufacturing technology.
China imposes contractual restrictions on the licensing of intellectual property and technology by foreign firms into China, but does not put the same restrictions on contracts between two Chinese enterprises.
China directs and facilitates investments in and acquisitions of United States companies to generate large-scale technology transfer.
China conducts and supports cyber intrusions into United States computer networks to gain access to valuable business information so Chinese companies can copy products.
STANDING UP TO CHINA’S UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES: President Trump has taken long overdue action to finally address the source of the problem, China’s unfair trade practices that hurt America’s workers and our innovative industries.

In January 2018, the President announced his decision to provide safeguard relief to United States manufacturers injured by surging imports of washing machines and solar products.
This was the first use of Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose tariffs in 16 years.
These actions responded to injurious trade practices by China and other countries, including attempts to avoid legally imposed antidumping and countervailing duties.
Following the decision, Whirlpool announced 200 new jobs in Ohio.
USTR and the Department of Commerce are working together to defend the right of the United States to continue treating China as a non-market economy in antidumping investigations until China makes the reforms it agreed to when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).
President Trump’s Administration has successfully litigated WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enforce United States trade laws.
In February 2018, USTR won a WTO compliance challenge against China’s unfair antidumping and countervailing duties on United States poultry exports and China announced the termination of those duties.
PROTECTING AMERICAN INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY: President Trump has worked to defend America’s intellectual property and proprietary technology from theft and other threats.

In August 2017, the Administration initiated a Section 301 investigation into China’s practices related to forced technology transfer, unfair licensing, and intellectual property policies.
After USTR completed its Section 301 report in March 2018, the President directed the agencies to explore numerous actions to protect domestic technology and intellectual property.
Under President Trump’s leadership:
The United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the “Made in China 2025” program. The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018.
USTR will continue WTO dispute settlement against China originally initiated in March to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing requirements.
The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology. The list of restrictions and controls will be announced by June 30, 2018.

Did you read that critically?

Why, under free trade, and free markets, is "over capacity" a crime?

That's the whole problem, repeated. Things we do are bad when they do them.

‘And Trump's critical error is that he never locked down exactly which things were "unfair" or "bad trade deals."’

I just showed you were wrong. Not really interested in debating a bad faith commenter.


The mouse is squirrelly.

I agree.

The first reaction of players might be to stick their own knitting. By that I mean both their own play, and their own government.

But I'm afraid the Chinese have been too heavy handed here, immediately dropping business on, what, one tweet? Leading to Chinese protesters at games being removed from games, in America.

The land of the free.

So the Chinese are forcing a decision not just for the NBA, but for America.

Will we muffle ourselves, on freedom, in the United States? For what, stock valuation?

How many NBA players have tweeted in support of Ukraine? There are lots of European NBA players, and some of them are likely familiar with the dispute between Ukraine and Russia. Whereas there are probably very few NBA players who were even aware of any difference between Hong Kong and mainland China.

There is a fundamental difference between being silent absent coercion and being silent after coercion. Have any of these activist players - who feel free to speak about so many other issues - even said well I disagree with the initial tweet, but it was wrong for China to go ballistic over free expression?

As far as being unaware, please. This is the age of google. And these are men who feel free to make political endorsements and offer geopolitical advise to the world. Even if you know nothing else about the situation, China going after an entire franchise for the personal expression of one person should warrant some comment by somebody.

If you cannot even support the right of people to support basic human rights, and you know basic things in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that China has signed onto, you are either craven or don't really care.

Israel got our many state governments and Congress to pass laws against BDS (the use of boycotts to protest Israeli human rights violations). A school district in Texas fired a teacher for refusing to sign a pledge of opposition to BDS. Does this mean everyone in America should now react by supporting BDS?

You're mistaken. "No, a Texas school district did not require speech pathologist Bahia Amawi to sign a "pro-Israel oath," nor even to promise not to personally boycott Israel." Lots of misreporting about the issue.

David Bernstein |The Volokh Conspiracy | 12.18.2018 6:11 PM

Here is a clever response by the Hong Kong protesters to punish companies that kowtow:

Some more good thoughts on this topic by Ben:

Anyone who knows anything about history knows how the story ends when people are encouraged and follow Tyler’s advice to keep quiet in the face of “crimes against humanity” (Leon Panetta’s words):

Shame on you Tyler.

There's a 230 year organization called US Department of State whose mission is :

"The U.S. Department of State leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity."

And the vision of the US DoS is "On behalf of the American people we promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world."

I understand why Tyler says "many people dropping the ball on China for years". I do not know why he does not explicitly name the US DoS.

This was a piece about protecting multinational corporations from public reproach, not a root cause analysis. You do realize what site you are on.

hahahahaha, good one. I get the problem now, how the plubic dares to criticize big business hahaha

“sound coordinated measures through our government and its allies, while retaining commercial friendliness and political neutrality for MNCs”

In America the MNCs through our bought-and-paid-for government officials suffocate the people with corrupt laws while resorting to commercial fascism when we question their corrupt ways. Why should our own companies respect a totalitarian dictatorship like China more than our own people? There is something very deeply wrong with our approach to globalism. "Corrupt locally but appease totalitarianism globally" will lead to more populism not less.

The NBA-China controversy did not arise because someone just decided to ask out of the blue why the NBA is not speaking out about Hong Kong. It arose because private American citizens spoke out about Hong Kong, and the Chinese government decided to punish those Americans through the NBA and the NBA was complicit in that. The NBA was not "retaining...political neutrality".

The current Chinese censorship effort started with censoring an NBA exec, proceeded to censoring a video game player and ESPN reporters, and progressed to censoring some 76er fans []. The NBA, Disney, and Blizzard Entertainment non-neutrally participated in those censorship efforts. I assume that Tyler does not think it was ok for universities and Hollywood studios to blacklist McCarthy's victims in the 1950s.

Tyler would be correct in pointing out that McCarthyism was best opposed by directing one's efforts against McCarthy himself rather than his Hollywood studio collaborators, for example censuring McCarthy rather than pressuring studios to resist McCarthy. Similarly, of course in the present case we should direct our efforts at limiting China's ability to censor American citizens. That means limiting the Chinese government's leverage points against American firms. However, no one should excuse the NBA's actions as "just good business" any more than Hollywood studios' blacklisting in the McCarthy Era was just good business. Maybe, we can't *expect* everyone to stand up against tyranny, but that doesn't mean we should *excuse or rationalize* such failure either.

As for the NBA, the best thing they can do now is to announce a boycott of China. Announce that they won't allow their games to be broadcast in China until the Chinese government starts respecting the free speech rights of NBA players, coaches, fans, and executives. Since China is already blocking NBA broadcasts to enforce its censorship efforts, the NBA doesn't even need to do anything to effectuate the boycott. That should be the lesson for every American firm that might be potentially pressured by China to censor its employees and customers: announce now that it will respond to any such pressure in the future by boycotting China, thereby neutralizing any leverage that China has over it.

McCarthyism was sparked by the government, which had and used the power to arrest people, deny them the right to travel, and tie them up in legal proceedings.

This is very different from the threat of a boycott faced by the NFL. The fact is, businesses get boycotted over their political views all the time and there is often pressure on them to fire employees. There was an incident of a pizza shop in my town firing an employee who made a racist rant that got local press coverage a few months ago after pressure from customers and employees who boycotted the place. The NBA scenario is just that scenario at a bigger scale.

So we must surrender and let Red China dictate America terms. I would rather die!!!!!

The Wilt Chamberlain justification for inequality doesn't look so justifiable, does it. It's not the game that produces wealthy basketball players, it's the products they promote; the game just provides the players the celebrity that consumers worship and will pay dearly to imitate. Celebrity basketball players are no different than celebrity Kardashians (or celebrity golfers, etc.). It's the celebrity, stupid!

What makes a celebrity? Fame. How does one achieve fame? Playing sports on television is one route, but there are many. Being a WAG is another. What's a WAG? Wives and girlfriends of celebrities. Yes, WAGs can become celebrities in their own right, with a following of millions on social media, allowing them to generate millions in paid endorsements. And don't mess with a WAG ("messy bitches who live for drama").

Do you think your average basketball thug gives a shit about China?

The average basketball fan is Chinese. It is the number one sport there and there are way more hoopheads there than in America. To answer your question, yes they give a shit about China because they are Chinese!

>>The average basketball fan is Chinese.

Irrelevant. Players care about their incomes, which come from player contracts, Nike/Adidas/etc. and similar.

It's true that Nike might care about Chinese fans, but the players don't. If Nike decided tomorrow that penguins in Antarctica justified shoveling money to the players, the next season would feature games at McMurdo Station and players will be doing ads for parkas.

The average basketball fan is Chinese.

If that's the case wouldn't the next logical step be an increase in visibility for the professional Chinese Basketball Association? How difficult would it be for teams in that league to pilfer gifted players from other countries or even some stars. They already feature a number of foreign players.

I thought Tylers post was about the players...few of whom are Chinese.

This is a terrible take Tyler.

So that is it. No one calls that treason.

Without China, the billions in U.S. taxes U.S. companies were able to avoid by shifting income to tax havens would not have been possible. It was a great accomplishment, a joint effort by U.S. companies and their partners in China. This great accomplishment, however, is being threatened by a proposal released Wednesday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. If adopted, it would result in a large tax increase for the U.S. companies that have been successfully avoiding U.S. taxes through the joint effort with their Chinese partners. Stand up and stop this threat to freedom.

How many have tweeted in support of the protests in Iraq? Sudan? Russia? Gaza? We should have a control group here before drawing conclusions.

>anyone noticed Prof. Cowen using it on a regular basis to directly criticize the Chinese government or to explicitly support the Hong Kong protesters over the last 4 months?

No, but I've seen him lionize Bruno Macaes (whom I know for a fact is paid by the Chinese to shill for Belt&Road) as a profound thinker and geopolitical oracle. Perhaps nothing too sinister to this, Tyler probably feels an affinity to Bruno's unfalsifiable vague verbiage.

"For the love of money is the root of all evil"

Tyler, this is less about expectation that the nba supports Hong Kongers or Uyghur or whatever.
It is about the fact that Americans, in America, employed by American companies are now CENSURED from supporting them.
No one expects nba to be China-woke.
We expect them to support our rights.
Currently the CCP is taking our rights here at home.

yeah, Tyler needs to read some more about this issue in particular. he doesn't seem to have a great understanding of the situation.

He's being willfully obtuse. How are we going to create wealth for people who might exist 200 years from now if corporations are forced to pay a modicum of respect to obviously outdated civil liberties and rights?

I would go farther and suggest it is about being made to participate in a charade, the sillier the better.

The previously-unknown fellow tweeted his tweet, which was simultaneously condemned and given more publicity than it ever would have warranted - precisely so that an apology which we understand to be forced and fake (hence the "blink" jokes) can be entered into the record. The record which will show we never spoke up about more consequential things, such as [fill in the blank with your preferred violation, mine is plain].

This goes beyond the requirements of courtly ritual observed between trading partners.

Americans: we may not be especially quick on the uptake, but we've all read/seen/heard enough of totalitarianism to know that compulsory pretend play is a necessary aspect.

You guys sure have strong opinions on some foreign country's extradition policies.

yeah no shit, hong kong is a developed area that many people have traveled to, done business with, know people from. the possibility of them being subject to the justice system of concentration camps and forced organ donations is pretty obviously a travesty.

"Another hypothesis, closer to my view, is that it has turned out sports leagues (and players) are neither the most efficient nor the most just way to combat social and political problems related to China."

And what, sports leagues are the most efficient and just ways to confront police violence? Or Presidential partisanship? Or abortion? Or any of the many issues where players have been activists?

Please. This is standard double dealing. When these guys speak out about issues it has historically been treated as them caring, being informed, and doing their part to make a more just society. Now when, it would be trivial to adopt a "I disagree with what you say, but will defend your right to say it" pose ... we get crickets.

Like most activists today, the NBA is fine kicking down and going after those that the elites of society disdains: Evangelical Christians, Trump supporters, gun owners, and the like. When it comes to speaking up against the powerful and most genocidal regime in recent history, well somehow I hear the crickets chirp.

"And what, sports leagues are the most efficient and just ways to confront police violence? "

Yes, because in America we have the right to free speech. In China they do not. It is as simple as that. Until you properly aim your target at China's lack of free speech, then Tyler is right here on the NBA. Do you get angry at evangelical Christians in China that fail to speak up against the "most genocidal regime" while they freely go after Hillary supporters, victims of gun violence, and Jews, Muslims, and Mexicans in America? If not, consider why that is the case.

The point is not that the NBA was craven to ignore Hong Kong, and after all Hong Kong is much less offensive to human rights than the Uighurs or the execution of prisoners for organ harvesting, it is the cravenness of the NBA and its players to make even a token stand against censorship.

When groups try to silence evangelicals or even their allies they do not march silently into the night even when they disagree with the position being silenced. After all most evangelicals support birth control, but they support Catholics right to oppose it. Some have even supported the right of causes they find obnoxious, like BDS, to make their case in the public sphere.

This is not about everyone having to be an activist about every issue; it is about precisely none standing up to anyone power to protect the right to protest itself. If you are not going to say anything opposed to censorship, then I cannot take seriously anything else you say.

China is neither the most powerful nor the most genocidal regime in recent history.

The US is clearly more powerful. We’ve succeeded in getting almost all multi-billion dollar multinational corporations to stop doing business with Iran entirely. China has to settle for some trivial symbolic stuff like tweets and cosmetic changes to websites. They haven’t and would never try to actually put similar sanctions on Hong Kong or Taiwan that we put on Iran or Cuba because they know those sanctions would fail and hurt China’s own economy more than any plausible benefit.

And genocidal? Please, the population of every minority group in China is increasing. Genocide requires killing or deporting people to reduce the population of a minority group in your country. An actual example would be something like the Rohingya, where millions have been forced to flee their country. China is pursuing a forced assimilation policy, like Denmark’s policy of taking Muslim babies from their families to assimilate them, not a genocide policy.

Genocide is formally defined as, "Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such." China has performed forced abortions on Uighurs, admitted to "brainwashing", and forcibly detained over a million with a disproportionate amount being of reproductive age.

China is committing genocide as defined by all the relevant treaties.

Is China more powerful than the US? I would submit so at this point in time. The US government is politically hobbled by internal strife in a way that China is not. Similarly in order for the US to go after Iran, Iran had to violate multiple international agreements. Iran, after all, has detained British sailors in international waters, violated Syrian sanctions, and of course seized an actual ship. Being able to convince the world to curtail economic engagement with a regime that funds terrorists, disrupts international trade, and is explicitly genocidal should be easy. China manages to steal billions in intellectual property from firms who helped them develop their economy and manage to do so while supporting some of the most vile regimes elsewhere on the globe.

Will China stay more powerful than the US? Only as long as domestic concerns and culture hobble US raw power. But for now? China acts like it has the whip hand and powers of the world respond in kind in the main.

You're still going to shop on Amazon, Walmart, or Home Depot, aren't you? If you are so morally superior to the NBA, what have you done to help Hong Kong? The NBA gave up $4 billion dollars in revenue. How much did you donate to the cause?

It seems that the US still holds in custody Siberian yuppie networker Maria Butina after coercing her into a plea deal as a foreign agent. She can't dribble a basketball for money but she does have talent with firearms, which makes her a real danger to the US. Additionally, US citizen, Chinese medical researcher and department head Xifeng Wu left her position at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center over federal investigators' allegations that she was a double agent for Chinese interests that wanted in on the fight against cancer. These two examples are just a small sample of the direction of the US Dept. of justice's attempt to keep us free.

Yes, there is a reason the First Amendment begins “Congress shall...” The greatest threat to free speech is and always has been the government. Commercial disputes over speech are unfortunate but not on the same level. If you get fired by your company for your speech, you can always go work somewhere else. If you get sent to jail or have some government-mandated license denied, you have no other option.

Maybe they just know nothing about the situation and don't care to learn anything because why would you bother reading 10 billion pages on the history of China when you can spend that time playing sports and hooking up with models? It's sensible that people have something to say about their own country but nothing about the rest of the world.

I recognize that this issue is directly tied to the NBA. However, isn’t the relevant institution to be analyzed the NFL, and more specifically, its players? Aren’t NFL players more politically vocal online and on TV as it relates to civil rights matters, at least domestically? I admit that I don’t not have evidence on NFL players engaging on the China/HK topic on Twitter or other platforms. (If someone does, please speak up). Yes, the NFL does not have the same revenue stream from China like the NBA. Doesn’t that mean that it’s even a lower bar for the NFL and its players to speak up?

"One hypothesis is that all three hundred of these individuals are craven cowards"

Or they're just rational economic actors. They've all watched Daryl Morey be made to grovel, his continuing livelihood hanging by a thread. Even the biggest stars know what may happen to their endorsement deals if they speak out.

The suggestion that this is "this is not the NBA’s fight" is simply asinine. No one made this the NBA's fight except the NBA itself, which jumped onto Morey's tweet as heavily as possible, enlisted other players to promote their "love" for China, and publicly stomped on fans displaying signs. The NBA actively chose to make this its crusade, and it's offensive that Tyler tries to absolve them by blaming the American public.

The "efficiency" argument makes no sense. It was no more efficient for the NBA to criticize to criticize Trump's travel-ban policies, but it eagerly did so. Now it's chosen to speak out in favor of China, and the efficiency of its speech has not changed; it's just signaling to a different audience.

Finally, calling a non-binding letter from several members of Congress, speaking out against an oppressive regime, "intimidation by the US Congress" is perhaps Tyler's worst take yet on this issue. Note in particular that those members of Congress make the same point that even Tyler grudgingly admits -- that it's a bad look to run a training camp inside a concentration camp.

Billionaires are their only gods,

The Truth About Cars asks a good question:

What will happen if a GM employee criticizes Chine?

Given the current strike, I think this is fairly likely to happen. Wouldn't the UAW (or at least some of its members) be delighted to stop GM from relying on imports of parts and vehicles produced in China (the Buick Envision)? And if union members start wearing 'Free Hong Kong' T-shirts on the picket lines, GM probably couldn't fire them even if it wanted to.

Dire days ahead for beleaguered cults of celebrity, sounds like: academic celebrities, sports celebrities, tech and business celebrities, celebrity journalists, celebrity actors and directors, celebrity musicians, and of course celebrity celebrities--ALL of them keen and happy to share their informed and uninformed views in order to nudge American public perception . . . and to help steer American public inaction.

The public posturing over this issue is appalling: and the "carpe diem" mentality that prevails from sea to shining sea today may soon prove fatal to many or to most of us.

Like it or not, folks, and complain about the timing all you wish: World War III began some time ago, and it is creeping in slow motion across the globe until that day arrives AFTER which the War will have been won . . . presumably, by someone.

This century has not yet shown us just how more horrific it will be than the previous century.

One thing I don't understand -- What the heck did people think was going to happen back when Hong Kong was signed over to the Chinese? How could it all ever play out without eventually coming to the kind of grim standoff we're seeing right now? Wasn't 1997 (or 1984, when the handover was first OK'd) the time to "#stand up for Hong Kong?"

Another hypothesis, closer to my view, is that it has turned out sports leagues (and players) are neither the most efficient nor the most just way to combat social and political problems related to China.

That is a strange way for an economist to put it. How about, "Incentives matter."

sound coordinated measures through our government and its allies, while retaining commercial friendliness and political neutrality for MNCs

If China really is morally awful, as I am assured by everyone they are, then punitive tariffs, denial of student visas, sanctions, etc. should all be on the table. But this would violate your precious Open Borders/"Free" Trade gospel so you make these kind of mealy-mouthed statements.

US foreign policy should be governed by realism and the national interest, not ideology. (There is ZERO justification for us to provide college slots to offspring of wealthy Chinese families. Zero-tariff trade with China is not "free.") Then you wouldn't have to do all these backflips.

Cancel all the student visas of all the offspring of CCP officials. Hit them where it hurts!!!

Cancel all the student visas. Why are we ceding college slots to one of the wealthiest countries on Earth? Or to anybody? Let the Ivies build Ivies over there. Let a thousand Ivies bloom.

According to a CCTV announcer, somebody needs to apologize for Morey's tweet because it "hurt the feelings of the Chinese people". Hopefully, that was a bad translation. People get their feelings hurt every day and on a much more personal basis. If indeed the Chinese themselves are collectively suffering butt hurt over some minor figures' opinions about their never-ending plan for Asian hegemony then they need a national psychiatric program.

For which non-black causes have blacks taken an advocacy lead?

Professor Cowen, Trump *did* call former NBA players cowards, though maybe not on Twitter himself, as was technically your point.

Yes, many elites, companies, organizations, and institutions have been dropping the ball on China for decades now, hence the current situation. The NBA is not the group I would have hoped to handle the problem of Chinese social control and collectivist values advancing beyond its borders, I would have hoped the US legislature would be up to the challenge but it's not, so here we are. Unfortunately, an innocent hostage will be pulled into the negotations, if that is the correct characterization of the NBA. But this happens all the time when dealing with China, individuals, groups and rule of law mean nothing compared to Chinese national interests. Hostage taking is as Chinese as the Lunar New Year. American cowardice got us to this point, now we have to start calling it out, even at the risk of hitting the wrong targets.

Welll too bad TC: Your fellow "democracy promoters" whether in the MSM or Congress take the whole of government approach literally.

Be careful what you advocate, this is the future that Centrists think everyone wants when you hype up mindless US led "democracy" promotion.

Always cracks me up to see Centrists are quick to trash ANTIFA as a bunch of worthless, in debt, unemployed hipster English majors, which may be partially true, while trying to promote the Hong Kong protesters though they are the Chinese equivalent of ANTIFA.

A cynical take is that the Chinese government is unforgiving of anyone who comments on its "internal affairs" in social media. So, one pro-HK tweet and your chance for China endorsements or playing on Chinese teams late in your career is kaput.

It's far more career-benefiting to comment on American topics so you can flaunt your "wokeness".

One possible reason that NBA players have not tweeted in support of Hong Kong is that the NBA's activities in China directly contribute to their income. The NBA's revenue in China is roughly $4 billion a year. Roughly 50% of that goes toward NBA player salaries. Why would you speak out on something that might negatively impact your pay check?

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