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Bruce

How will you address the US-China Trade War?

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All questions are asked to both candidates, so you should give their answer in addition to rebutting their opponents. You may speak as many times as you feel is necessary.

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Was President Trump's trade dispute with China justified? Was it successful? How will you address and/or resolve the issue?

 

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Free trade is the very best way to ensure that everyone grows in a mutually beneficial way, no country ever enjoyed sustained and sustainable economic growth from behind a tariff wall. In 18th Century Europe when this exact debate was had some, such as Spain, decided that the best way to prosperity was protectionism and gold, others like the UK decided that their future lay in the open sea and in trade. Tell me which of these nations spanned a quarter of the globe and won two World Wars by our side? Looking at the economics and the history of debate we can only conclude that President Trump's trade dispute with China was an unjustifiable failure, if waged properly it may have generated short term success but even in this area Chinese counter-tariffs crippled farming in the Mid West and left many farmers on the edge of bankruptcy if not fully insolvent. The issue got so bad that Speaker Ward and I were forced to pen and pass emergency legislation to bail out the farmers, legislation that the President vetoed and the GOP refused to overturn. If we are to solve the issue of China then it will not be through trade wars, it'll be with time and patience, two things that China does not have.

China is a currency manipulator, it artificially deflates its currency to make its exports cheaper, but that makes its imports more expensive. This may sound like a bad thing for us but actually it helps us, China's growing middle class are desperate to get their hands on American goods because, let's face it, nobody does business quite as well as our United States. As the middle class grow in size and influence the Chinese Government will either have to lessen their currency manipulation or risk a very angry population being deprived of superior American produce, in short, just as it did with the Soviets, capitalism and human nature will beat out communism if we stick to our guns. This doesn't mean that there are not things that we can do in the meantime, as President I will work with China to de-escalate our trade war and return to pre-Trump tariff levels with reciprocation from the Chinese Government. I want to see these tariff barriers fall wherever Trump put them up, the European Union has long been comprised of strong allies of the United States yet even they have been forced to hike up tariffs in response to the President. While my opponent would dither and delay trying to strike a better deal than the one which isn't just on the table but in the history books as how we do business with the rest of the World I will end the trade wars and start working with institutions like the EU to craft a trade deal that removes even more tariffs. I would have trade deals struck to increase investment into Africa, giving us cheaper natural resources and them the ability to develop in an environmentally and working class friendly way. Trade works, it's Trump who's made a mess of all of this with his tariff walls and it's Republicans like my opponent who have aided and abetted him every step of the way by turning a blind eye or actively supporting him like the likes of Granata and Fitzgerald.

Going forward and looking domestically we must ensure that unaccountable tariffs never happen again, in future we must be certain that nobody can ever claim that they didn't have a say on tariffs and therefore bear no responsibility for them. As President I will author legislation to return the setting of tariff policy to Congress, if Congress want then they can grant authority over tariffs to the President but only on a case by case basis, the time for unilateral tariffs from an unaccountable-to-Congress President is over if I am elected to the Oval Office. When trade is normalised I will go about repealing emergency bailout legislation because the aid won't be necessary anymore, everyone will be able to export and compete just as well as they were before the Trump tariffs.

My opponent here, Congressman Vang, has stated that he is against tariffs, yet he has also stated that he supports them. Indeed in his convention speech just the other day he openly and brazenly advocated new tariffs on the Chinese. I must admit I find it to be a bold and self-defeating strategy to openly advocate for the removal of tariffs whilst putting new tariffs on the country you're supposed to be de-escalating with. When Trump rocked up and placed tariffs on China the Chinese reciprocated with more and more tariffs on our goods until we built up our tariff walls and our farmers went bankrupt, what do you think they'll do when the hypothetical President Vang shows up and does the same? Anyone who says that the Vang policy for tariffs is going to actually help us de-escalate the problem is trying to sell you something, most likely they're trying to sell you failed Republican protectionism with a shiny new suit on and a new salesman. Vang may be more palatable than Trump in a lot of ways, but on tariffs he is just as dangerous and will cause just as much economic devastation as his predecessor for the nomination. Say no to tariffs and vote for the only credible plan to de-escalate the trade wars and return American agriculture and exporting to normality.

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Take into consideration what we've lost due to China for a second. Due to our trade deficit with and the unfair trade practices engaged by China since entering the World Trade Organization in 2001 we've lost 3.4 million jobs according to a study released by the Economic Policy Institute. 74% or 2.5 million of those jobs were in manufacturing. We're forced to content with currency manipulation, intentional product dumping to kill local markets and raise prices once they can monopolize, numerous WTO violations such as required technology transfer, some $300 billion is loses to IP theft, direct exporter subsidies, state owned enterprises, intentionally suppress wages, and more. China doesn't fight fair. Chinese companies are free to compete in the United States but American companies are not free to compete in China. Their predatory trade practices are far more lucrative than free trade. They've gotten rich off their mercantile practices.

China's has had tariffs on us far before Trump ever did a thing. Removing our tariffs before acquiring anything in the way of tariff concessions means our companies have to take on the power of the Chinese dictatorship full even more exposed and less reciprocal. The trade deficit will only increase hurting more jobs and stagnating wages even further all the while making outsourcing to China even more profitable. I will offer to the Chinese a mutual tariff reduction of equivalent proportions but if they refuse the tariffs aren't going away just for nothing. I'm not going to hand the Chinese dictatorship everything they want on a silver platter in the hopes they take pity on us eventually and grant us some magical trade deal that will solve all of our problems. From there should they refuse our negotiations we'll have to work with other trade partners in jointing putting pressure on China to change. Doing nothing on China's trade practices will only wreck more havoc on American jobs and wages.

Keep in mind economically it's China we have over a barrel not the other way around. Their economic dependence on us far exceeds ours on them. Their non-cooperation will make matters worse for themselves.

As for the creation of new tariffs I've said before I'm generally, not absolutely for free trade. It has yet to be explained to me how freely taking in carbon emissions from foreign exports is a benefit to the country. To me it looks like we're just giving a free pass to harming our environment because of ideological aversions to tariffs. Those aversions have forced the House Democratic leadership to block the majority vote of debate on Mr. Bower's and I's carbon emission tariff putting ideology over consensus building or bipartisanship. Exemptions to carbon emission tariffs can be made if actions are taken towards better climate practices in exports to the United States but should for example the Chinese disregard such considerations I will not hesitate in protecting our environment and disincentivizing pollutants being exported into the country. Rebated directly to the public any rise in prices would easily be offset considering the rebate would be around $1100 per family of four. It's a far smaller tariff than anything Trump did and all the Trump tariffs cost the consumer was $60 on average in price rises so under the carbon tariff rises would likely be even smaller.

As President I will take matters of trade with China seriously. I will not waive a white flag of economic surrender to them far too much is at stake. We owe it to those who's factories in this country have been closed because of our trade deficit with China. Millions of families who have suffered because of their behaviors.

 

 

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