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Rick Manning: Death of Steel Industry Leaves U.S. ‘Vulnerable to Blackmail’ When China Decides to Cut Off Supplies

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Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, discussed America’s aluminum and steel industries in an interview Monday on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with co-hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak. Destruction of America’s aluminum and steel industries via Chinese commodity dumping would leave America “vulnerable to blackmail on key component parts” needed for the U.S. to have “a modern industrial economy,” Manning said.

Once China controls the world’s steel production, explained Manning, “the risk is the cost when the Chinese decide, ‘We’re not going to sell you steel, and you can’t build stuff anymore because you’re a threat to our Chinese economy.’”

Predatory pricing of aluminum and steel exports are part of a broader Chinese strategy to destroy America’s industrial capacity via increasing its dependence on China, said Manning.

“The Chinese are engaged in war,” said Manning. “They make no bones about it that they’re engaged in war, and they’re using dumping and every other tool at their disposal to degrade our economy and our capacity to act independently. Our capacity to act independently is our greatest strength. We’ve been blessed with great natural resources [and] an economic system that’s designed to grow and create innovation. … Those blessings that we’ve received, they’re our strength [and] our power. The Chinese are attempting to make us dependent upon them or others by degrading various key industries of ours that are key to being able to defend ourselves downstream and to have an independent economy.”

Continuance of America’s growing dependence on Chinese steel imports will leave America vulnerable to Chinese blackmail over the supply of an essential industrial commodity, said Manning. President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel imports would allow domestic steel manufacturers and interrelated industries to thrive, he added.

“The risk is the cost when the Chinese decide, ‘We’re not going to sell you steel, and you can’t build stuff anymore because you’re a threat to our Chinese economy,'” said Manning. “That’s the risk. You make a small investment … to rebuild a domestic industry that’s been harmed by Chinese dumping and allow that industry to grow and thrive and create an environment where we aren’t vulnerable to blackmail on key component parts to having a modern industrial economy.”

Protection of domestic aluminum and steel manufacturers from Chinese economic predation is a matter of national security, Manning said.

“We have a real problem if you do not have steel [or] aluminum and you don’t have the capacity to domestically manufacture that,” said Manning. “You have a national security threat. The last people we need to be dependent upon to be able to produce airplanes and vehicles are the Chinese, who are engaged in asymmetrical war against our country. Until we come to grips with the fact that they’re playing for keeps and we’re playing like nothing’s happening, until we wake up to that, we’re going to face an untenable situation.”

“Globalists” are mistaken in viewing increasing international economic interdependence as a growing bulwark against war, Manning warned.

“For some people, it’s okay [to destroy America’s steelmaking industry] because in a globalist world, the way it works is: you allocate resources where it makes the most sense for those resources to be allocated,” said Manning. “So it’s okay for the United States not to have the capacity to have steel mills because we can always get it some somewhere else. It assumes a stable environment. It’s really very kind of dreamy to think that because we’re all interdependent economically, that we can never afford to go to war. It doesn’t comport with reality.”

Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).

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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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