Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) writes in today’s Washington Times:
Putting us back on a path of national prosperity requires a dramatic change in trade policy. A weakened U.S. industrial base and a monstrous public debt also make it difficult to sustain the kind of national power we need to meet the across-the-board challenges posed by a rising China.
Most-favored-nation (MFN) status was given to China on a permanent basis in 2000 when President Clinton unwisely decided to let Beijing join the World Trade Organization. MFN forces us to treat a hostile, totalitarian government just like our allies England and Japan. Since 2000, the trade deficit with China has more than tripled. It was a horrible economic bargain with dire strategic consequences. MFN has enabled Beijing to build financial and military capabilities that support ambitions at odds with U.S. security.
GlobalTimes, a state-run communist media outlet, has argued, “Chinahas a good reason to seek substantial retaliation” over the sale of defensive weapons to the democratic island of Taiwan, which Beijing has vowed to conquer. Among the threats listed, “China can also slash the imports from the U.S. side, leading to the loss of employment.” Beijing is prepared to wage economic warfare in ways the Obama administration and most of Congress cannot bring themselves even to consider. Too often, trade, defense and foreign policy are kept in separate boxes despite their obvious interconnection. It is time to think outside of these boxes.
Beijing uses a plethora of regulations to keep its leverage over American firms that have recklessly invested in China, such as forcing them into joint ventures and blocking their access to “strategic industries.” In addition, Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property is at epidemic levels.
Washington decision-makers have allowed China to rig the trading relationship to the detriment of American firms and American workers. U.S. trade policy must come to mirror the great wall of Chinese protectionism if this nation’s industrial base and technological edge are to be maintained. Washington should be talking about cutting imports and weakening China.
You can read the full story here.