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Commerce Secretary: President’s Tariffs Have ‘Strengthened America’s National Security’

US wants 'concrete' trade action from China within 90 days
AFP/File GREG BAKER
MICHELLE MOONS
Washington, DC

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross credited President Donald Trump’s economic policies, including tariffs, with strengthening America’s national security and revitalizing American industries.

Ross offered glowing praise Wednesday of the president’s Tuesday State of the Union address, highlighting Trump’s “optimistic bipartisan vision to continue building on the accomplishments of his first two years in office.”

“Under President Trump’s leadership, common-sense policies have brought hope to the forgotten American worker,” said Ross. “The President’s strong defense and foreign policy initiatives have restored American leadership on the international stage.”

Specifically, Ross isolated the president making clear that “economic strength is critical to national defense.” Ross added:

Through his economic policies, such as the 232 tariffs, President Trump has strengthened America’s national security and is revitalizing critical American industries. His successful negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will unleash American growth and his pursuit of free and fair trade with China is a refreshing change of pace in Washington.

The Trump administration levied section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum in 2018, citing national security implications. China has been known for dumping cheap steel into global markets and for attempting to use other countries to circumvent U.S. anti-dumping measures.

President Trump said in the State of the Union address, “We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.” He pointed to the recent U.S. tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods: “Now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars a month from a country that never gave us a dime.” 

China has issued retaliatory tariffs in response to the U.S. tariffs.

President Trump has repeatedly made clear that China must stop “unfair” trading practices, including the theft of U.S. intellectual property,and begin to remedy the massive trade imbalance between the two nations. 

The Trump administration is currently in a 90-day tariff truce with China, agreed upon during a G20 Argentina meeting between president Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping. The two sides agreed to the 90-day period, along with intensive negotiations in pursuit of a trade agreement. China further agreed to resume an increased level of purchases of U.S. goods including soybeans.

“President Trump’s agenda sets America on course to choose greatness now and for the future,” Ross affirmed. 

Michelle Moons is a White House Correspondent for Breitbart News — follow on Twitter @MichelleDiana and Facebook

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