Bannon: America’s Elite Benefited from China’s Rise, Working and Middle Classes Were Set Back

Trump, Xi
A. Brandon/AP

Breitbart News Executive Chair and former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon said at a conference in Japan on Tuesday there will be some “additional information” on the Section 301 investigation the United States has initiated into Chinese intellectual property theft in the days and weeks ahead.

“In the coming days and weeks ahead you will see Preident Trump and the administration put out additional information about this 301 report and what actions are going to have to take place,” he said Tuesday at the 12th InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference in Tokyo.

The investigation was launched in August, to look into Chinese laws, policies, and practices that are harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development. The move angered Chinese leaders that saw it as a unilateral act of aggression outside the framework of the World Trade Organization.

Bannon, in his speech in Tokyo, said China has taken $3.5 trillion dollars in forced technology transfers from the U.S., in exchange for market access. He said:

It’s taken what is the flower of the liberal democratic free market system. And that is our innovation. America’s been powerful because America can innovate. The West has always been the leaders in innovation. And what the Chinese demanded in order to get access to their markets was that our companies basically had to give over it’s technology, basically they had to give over its innovation.

President Trump — and I’m very proud to be part of the administration when he did this — started the process of what’s called a 301 action, which is really to study how these forced technology transfers were demanded by the Chinese, and what could be done to correct it.

Bannon also called for the administration to impose tariffs on steel imports.

“Also, there’s another report, called a 232, which is about steel, and about potential tariffs are going to have to come against Chinese state enterprises, to get access to the U.S. markets,” he said.

The Trump administration launched a Section 232 review in April into whether steel imports compromised U.S. national security. The action was aimed at getting China to cut excess production capacity. The deadline for the review is mid-January 2018.

Bannon spoke at length about the effect of China’s rise on manufacturing job losses in the U.S., and about Beijing’s plan to be the world’s economic hegemon by 2035, and the world’s leader by 2050.

He said China aims to dominate 10 global industries by 2025, including silicon chip manufacturing, robotics, and artificial intelligence, which “when combined, will give the Chinese dominance in global manufacturing in the 21st Century.”

He also criticized the role of U.S. elites in China’s ascendency, which he said has come at the expense of the working and middle classes. He said beginning under the Nixon administration, elites have put in place a misguided policy towards China which aimed to integrate them into the global economic system, believing that it would prosper and become a liberal democracy with a free market economy.

“Now what we’ve found out in the last decade is that the exact opposite is happening,” he said.

He said the exporting of Chinese deflation and excess capacity “gutted the industrial capacity” of the United Kingdom and the upper midwest of the United States. Meanwhile, the elites who benefitted from China’s integration have turned a blind eye.

“If you are a high school graduate, you have not had a raise in 50 years,” Bannon said. “What we have in the United States today is not capitalism, so much as it is socialism for the wealthy.”

“The ascendant economy in the United States, of Silicon Valley, of Wall Street, and Hollywood, and the imperial capitol of Washington, D.C. has no interest in taking on China. They’ve all benefitted from China’s rise,” he said. “It is the working class people … that have had to bear the brunt of that. The Trump voters.”

He called on the working and middle classes around the world to fight back against the elites in their country and make their voices heard, pointing to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union and Trump’s historic win.

“This populist movement is just at the very beginning of its endeavors,” he said. “The tide of history is on your side if you put your shoulder to the wheel.”


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