Beijing started this trade conflict — Trump intends to finish it

TheHill | 6/9/2019 | Dan DiMicco, opinion contributor
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There’s an important point to remember in the current U.S.-China trade conflict: Beijing started it. For the past 20 years, China has been at war with the U.S. economy, using massive subsidies, currency manipulation and intellectual property theft to continually erode America’s manufacturing base.

It’s a strategy that has worked phenomenally well. Over the past two decades, the United States has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs and nearly 90,000 factories.

Years - Aggression - Trump - Administration - Enough

After years of this economic aggression, the Trump administration is now saying, “Enough is enough.” But when the president recently imposed 25-percent tariffs on roughly half of Chinese imports, Wall Street cried foul.

However, it was an absolutely unquestioning adherence to free trade that opened the door for China in the first place. And globalists have never complained when Beijing continually ignores its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments to open, reciprocal trade.

Tariffs - President - Cable - News - Commentators

So, what of the tariffs that the president is now imposing? To listen to cable news commentators, one would think the sky is falling. The president’s critics continually tout dire economic warnings — even though all evidence shows the tariffs applied in 2018 on steel, aluminum and other goods have boosted U.S. manufacturing and created domestic jobs.

A widely circulated paper by Trade Partnership Worldwide warned that steel and aluminum tariffs would cost as many as 470,000 U.S. jobs. Instead, U.S. manufacturing employment has increased since then and now exceeds 12.8 million jobs — the highest level since the Great Recession.

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In the immediate wake of the tariffs, third-quarter GDP grew at an impressive 3.5 percent in 2018. Inflation remains low, too, demonstrating that consumers aren’t seeing predicted price increases.

It’s doubtful that President Trump undertook the new tariffs lightly. In fact, he delayed them in January — to give Beijing more time to negotiate in good faith. But after many months of talks and...
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