Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) described China as America’s primary “long-term strategic adversary” during a Tuesday interview with SiriusXM hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak for Breitbart News Tonight.
Mansour asked Cruz about incentivizing foreign investment from Chinese interests. She asked, “What about China? Should the U.S. be open to investments from China, which is a country our National Defense Strategy has described as a ‘strategic competitor’ that uses ‘predatory economics’?”
Cruz responded, “There’s no doubt that China is our most formidable and most dangerous long-term strategic adversary, and they are pursuing an aggressive military policy, aggressive cyber-attacks, and expanding their influence across the globe. We need to take it very seriously. When it comes to trade, one of the areas I’m optimistic about is that I think the Trump administration is trying very hard to press back on China, and in particular to open up their markets. They engage in very protectionist policies, from China’s perspective, that shut down their markets. For example, they put in place a number of really significant non-tariff barriers. A few years ago, I sat down with the senior leadership of John Deere tractors, and they described how incredibly difficult it is to sell an American tractor in China because they put regulations in place that essentially mean only Chinese tractors can get sold. I think the Trump administration is leaning in hard trying to lift those barriers. That is a very good thing.”
Cruz added, “When it comes to Chinese investment, I think we need to be cautious, particularly with regard to national security infrastructure. A few months ago, the communist government of China was proposing investing significantly in the University of Texas in a China center, and I wrote the head of the University of Texas urging UT not to take the Chinese communist money because they were doing so as a propaganda effort to undermine free speech in this country, and thankfully UT turned down the money and in fact has been leading the country. We’re now seeing other universities turning down the Chinese communist money. I think that’s a good thing and I think we need to be very protective of freedom here in America.”
Mansour asked Cruz, “You’ve been very critical of President Trump’s threats to leave NAFTA. Without using the threat of pulling out of NAFTA, how can we get Mexico to renegotiate a deal that is currently favorable to them but unfair to us?”
Cruz advised president to push for greater openness within Mexican markets. He replied, “I represent Texas, there are 2.2 million jobs in Texas that depend on international trade. Texans do very well when markets are opened up. What I have urged the president to do is use NAFTA renegotiation to expand our access to Mexican [and] Canadian markets, and I think the single greatest opportunity there is the Mexican energy market. There are vast oil and gas resources in Mexico. Right now, their political and legal system does not adequately allow developing those. If we could codify in NAFTA opening up that Mexican energy market, it would, number one, create thousands of good paying jobs in Mexico, help growing a middle class there. That’s good for Mexico. But number two, the place that they would naturally turn for expertise to develop that oil and gas, would be the United States, and Texas, in particular. It would produce thousands of good paying jobs in the United States, as well. I think that is a great opportunity.”
Cruz also suggested tying regulatory reform to NAFTA renegotiation to reduce state-imposed economic burdens on business. He added, “Another area I’ve urged the president and the administration to go with NAFTA renegotiation is use it as a vehicle for regulatory reform to reduce the burdens on U.S. job creators [and] small businesses, and in particular, what I’ve encouraged the president to do is include within NAFTA what’s called the REINS Act. I’m an original sponsor of the REINS Act. The REINS Act would provide that any economic regulation that imposes a hundred million dollars or more of cost on the economy cannot go into effect unless and until it gets an affirmative up-down vote in Congress. It would be the most far-reaching regulatory reform ever enacted. It would be tremendously good for jobs in this country and the beauty of attaching it to NAFTA is, under trade promotion authority, that would go straight to Congress for an up-down vote and the Democrats can’t filibuster it, so we could enact long-lasting regulatory reform using NAFTA renegotiation. That would be good for jobs throughout the country.”
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