Trump’s tenacity bringing Chinese in line

Armstrong Williams | 1/10/2019, 12:23 p.m.
For almost 30 years, China has been carefully maneuvering to become the most powerful economy on the planet.
Armstrong Williams

For almost 30 years, China has been carefully maneuvering to become the most powerful economy on the planet. Through a series of equally strategic and devious economic tactics, such as trade and currency manipulation, the Chinese have enriched themselves at the expense of other nations—especially the United States.

They have been getting away with it for years, but that is about to change. Today, they are up against an unlikely president who happens to be unapologetic about putting America first and unafraid to fight for our workers.

Over the past couple of months, we have looked on as President Trump and Chinese President Xi both upped the stakes of ongoing trade negotiations. At times, it has seemed that we are lilting toward an all-out trade war. With each country placing tariffs on imported goods to pressure the other, economists, analysts and companies have been on edge. However, we are now beginning to see exciting progress, and it appears that President Trump’s legendary negotiation bearing fruit.

At the recent G-20 Summit, announcements were made that the United States and Chinese governments had come to an agreement in the trade negotiation process. Both countries have agreed to temporarily refrain for the next three months from increasing tariffs or applying new ones.

Both governments, as well as the global financial markets, have heralded this development as a success. True, the U.S. and China working together to cement fair and lucrative trade practices is a great first-step, but it provides even more cause to celebrate because it shows that President Trump’s trade strategy is working.

For decades, China has reaped the benefits of its actions being unchallenged in trade negotiation for almost 30 years. They are learning, for the first time in a very long time, that the United States does not exist to serve their economic interests and to help them accomplish their goal of superseding the United States as the globe’s principal economic superpower. They are hopefully coming to realize that our president is shrewd and tough and that he will never back down when it comes to making sure that America gets the best deals it can.

Trump has been reinforcing this theme publicly since the mid-1980s, when he gained insight into the inner workings of the international business stage. It is with this knowledge that he has been able to confront Chinese trade practices that harm the United States.

One of the most notorious ways in which China has abused the United States is through its use of currency manipulation. China’s practice of devaluing its currency has been used to make it king of exports and manufacturing. Businesses simply cannot be competitive in the market without taking advantage of low-cost manufacturing.

Ultimately, that has created a situation in which the United States has lost millions of manufacturing jobs. In human terms, we are talking about millions of families without a source of income and untold damage to the American economy. But it doesn’t stop there.

Machiavellian to its core, China uses the money that it gains through economic manipulation to then purchase U.S. Treasury bonds. In this way, our own government becomes further locked into an artificial dependency on Chinese manufacturing. Perhaps that explains the hesitancy of former presidents to address this open wound.

Trump understands that there is no more running away from this issue. The can has been kicked down the road, but it has finally hit a wall. The United States can either tackle this challenge on its own terms and before it becomes a crisis, or eventually our entire economy will collapse on itself to the benefit of the Chinese government.

When it comes to strengthening America’s economy, President Trump deserves much credit. He promised to always put the United States first, and that is what he has done. He swore to renegotiate one-sided trade deals that cost us millions of jobs and billions of dollars.

Confrontation often produces feelings of discomfort and uncertainty, but the benefits of getting a problem out into the open and actually solving it are tough to measure. To succeed well into the next century, the United States must get its financial house in order and end its self-defeating dependency on Chinese manufacturing.

In President Trump we have a bold leader who is pushing back hard against China, and putting America back on a true path toward prosperity.