Chamber of Commerce Begs Trump to Surrender to China: ‘Nobody Wins a Trade War’

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before boarding Air Force One in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 18, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

As President Trump orders American businesses to move production out of China in the wake of Chinese officials hiking tariffs on U.S. goods, the Chamber of Commerce is pleading with the president to surrender in the trade dispute.

On Friday, Chinese officials announced that they would be retaliating against the U.S. by imposing five to ten percent tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods — a response to Trump imposing new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese products in September and December.

After the news, Trump demanded American companies to move their production out of China and bring their manufacturing home to the U.S., writing on Twitter:

Executives at the Chamber of Commerce, stalwart defenders of free trade at all costs, are now asking Trump to end the trade war with China and return to standard negotiations, calling U.S.-China free trade “for the most part productive, constructive, and mutually beneficial,” despite having cost Americans at least 3.4 million jobs across all 50 states.

“Despite our concerns, the 40-year old trade relationship between our two countries has been for the most part productive, constructive, and mutually beneficial,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Myron Brilliant said in a statement. “U.S. companies have been ambassadors for positive changes to the Chinese economy that continue to benefit both our people.”

Brilliant continued:

While we share the President’s frustration, we believe that continued, constructive engagement is the right way forward. Time is of the essence. We do not want to see a further deterioration of US-China relations. We urge the administration and the government of China to return to the negotiating table to complete an agreement that addresses concerns over technology transfer practices, intellectual property enforcement, market access, and the globally damaging impact of Chinese domestic subsidies.

Brilliant said “nobody wins a trade war” and thus the “tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China” should be ended.

Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce lobbied members of Congress to tank a plan that would have allowed the U.S. to impose reciprocal tariffs on imported products. The law would have given Trump the power to raise tariffs on specific foreign products if those countries’ tariffs were much higher on the same U.S. product.

Last year, Chamber of Commerce executives vowed to fight Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which have spurred a surge in American manufacturing.

For decades, free trade has helped gut working and middle-class jobs and stripped whole middle American towns of their industries and livelihoods. Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed and China was allowed to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO), nearly five million American manufacturing jobs and 50,000 manufacturing facilities have been eliminated from the U.S. economy. This mass elimination of working and middle-class jobs due to free trade has coincided with a nearly 600 percent increase in trade deficits.

The most recent study by economists at the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) finds that permanent 25 percent tariffs on all Chinese imports to the U.S. would create more than a million American jobs by 2024, Breitbart News reported.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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