Why free traders and all Americans should back Trump on China policy

The facts are out there for free traders and all Americans — too bad so few people will be exposed to that important information. Here is Stephen Moore:

I’m a free trader and I hate tariffs — which are consumer taxes — but if ever there were a right time to impose punitive tariffs, it is now, and it is against China. President Trump is on the side of the angels on this one, and this is the right moment to shut down China’s abusive trade practices forever.

Start with the basic facts: The average tariff that we imposed on China when Trump entered the White House was about 4 percent. China’s tariffs on us were about 10 percent and, even when including the 10 percent tariff that Trump first imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports in 2018, our tariffs were still lower than theirs. So the playing field is not level and is especially tilted against us, given that Beijing’s nontariff barriers in China can make it prohibitively expensive to do business there. We have an open market competing against the world’s second-largest economy whose doors are slammed shut.

Doctrinaire free traders should understand that this status quo is economically and politically untenable going forward. Trade can’t be a one-way street, and something has to give here. That means immediate reforms in China’s mercantilist economic behavior — on tariffs, on other trade barriers, on theft of intellectual property and on cyber espionage against America. We aren’t dealing with a friendly power here but with an increasingly hostile one that has become an existential threat.

Trump’s strategy is to hit their vulnerable economy hard with tariffs and strong arm Beijing into giving American companies and products greater access to Chinese markets. There is not one demand that Trump is making of China’s President Xi that is unreasonable. The free traders should recognize that If the Trump tariffs work — and this is a dangerous game, admittedly — we will have freer trade at the end of the day.

Read more: The Hill

Image credit: www.heritage.org.