Washington, DC - When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it promised to abide by the rules of the international trading order. Instead, it has broken every rule in the fair trade book on the way to expanding its annual gross domestic product from $1.3tn to $11.2tn.
Meanwhile, since 2001, under the Bush and Obama presidencies, the US economy lost more than 60,000 factories and millions of manufacturing jobs.
Only now is the American economy beginning to renew its strength on the wings of President Donald Trump’s four-point growth plan: historic tax cuts, a wave of constructive deregulation, the unleashing of America’s energy sector and progress on a number of trade fronts - from domestic investment-inducing tariffs on solar and washing machines to a new, fair deal with South Korea.
When Mr. Trump took office, he gave China every opportunity to negotiate an end to its unfair trade practices, hosting a summit in April at Mar-a-Lago and visiting Beijing in November. Despite these olive branches, the Chinese have refused to end their unfair trade practices; and the US trade deficit in goods with China has grown from $347bn in 2016 to $375bn during Mr. Trump’s first year in office.
While the trade deficit balloons, China continues to steal US intellectual property and force American companies operating there to surrender their leading edge technologies in exchange for access to the Chinese market. Today, Chinese sovereign wealth funds and other state actors are scouring Silicon Valley trying to buy up the crown jewels of the American high-tech industry.
China’s reaction to Mr. Trump’s legitimate defense of the American homeland has been a Great Wall of denial - despite incontrovertible evidence of Beijing’s illicit and protectionist behavior. Instead, China is attacking American farmers with the threat of retaliatory tariffs in the apparent hope of rattling a key component of the coalition that put Mr. Trump in office. There is a reason, however, that the president sits behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. And when he stands, Mr. Trump stands up for the American people - and American farmers.