Trump Goes Full Protectionist on China While Claiming To Be a “Free-Trader”

Yesterday, Trump told The New York Times editorial board that he supports a 45 percent uniform tariff on Chinese exports:

“Donald J. Trump said he would favor a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the United States, proposing the idea during a wide-ranging meeting with members of the editorial board of The New York Times. …

The only power that we have with China,” Mr. Trump said, “is massive trade.”

“I would tax China on products coming in,” Mr. Trump said. “I would do a tariff, yes — and they do it to us.”

Mr. Trump added that he’s “a free trader,” but that “it’s got to be reasonably fair.”

Unfortunately, I was too busy yesterday to share this important story, but this is a YUGE development. It WAS NOT in his actual policy statement on trade which China which I reviewed here in November. Of course a 45 percent uniform tariff on Chinese exports would have to get through 1.) the WTO in which China is a member and 2.) the Paul Ryan-Mitch McConnell-controlled US Congress, but still Trump is now openly calling for a revolutionary change to American trade policy.

Oh yeah, one more thing that is really important: it came out yesterday that China is considering another 15 percent devaluation of its currency:

“China’s central bank is under increasing pressure from policy advisers to let the yuan currency fall quickly and sharply, by as much as 10-15 percent, as its recent gradual softening is thought to be doing more harm than good. …

While a weaker yuan would make Chinese exports cheaper overseas, and foreign products more expensive in China, it would be unlikely to go down well among the country’s trading partners. The United States, for one, regularly accuses Beijing of manipulating its exchange rate to dump under-priced goods on foreign markets.”

Trump was calling out China for devaluing its currency twice back in August:

“The outspoken billionaire criticized Beijing, during a campaign stop in Birch Run, Mich., for devaluing the yuan.

“They’re just destroying us,” Trump said, according to Reuters.

“They keep devaluing their currency until they get it right,” he said. “They’re doing a big cut to the yuan, and that’s going to be devastating for us.

“China has gotten rich off us,” Trump added, the news service reported. “China has rebuilt itself with the money it’s sucked out of the United States and the jobs that it’s sucked out of the United States.”

China on Wednesday devalued its currency for a second straight day, with officials cutting the rate for the yuan by 1.6 percent. …”

Please note that the big devalution of China’s currency last August was 2.7 percent … and now they are pondering a 15 percent devaluation in the heat of the US primary season. The Chinese central bank let the yuan fall yesterday and this could continue to roil the economy through the 2016 presidential election.

China is giving Trump all the ammunition he needs to destroy the free-traders in the Republican primary and Hillary in the general election. It was Bill Clinton who brought China into the WTO.

About Hunter Wallace 11763 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

10 Comments

  1. Of course a 45 percent uniform tariff on Chinese exports would have to get through 1.) the WTO in which China is a member and 2.) the Paul Ryan-Mitch McConnell-controlled US Congress, but still Trump is now openly calling for a revolutionary change to American trade policy.

    They can’t ignore polls. Trump is a good communicator. He can get a lot of support for his proposal.

    The Narrative that has been pushed for the last few election cycles is that Republicans needed to reach out to Hispanics. I’ve always insisted that Republicans lose because they have to write off electoral rich states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois every election year. Republicans severely underperformed with the White working class. Despite all the hand wringing by the GOP about losing the Latino vote, Trump may pick up states that the GOP wrote off long ago.

  2. This is not a political issue that Trump is pandering on. Trade is the one issue that Trump has been consistent about for the last 25+ years. I recall him being a guest on the Morton Downey Jr show back in the late 80s. He said that he would force Japan to pay for the US budget deficit by placing tariffs on their electronics.

    Honestly, I think Trump can put states like NJ and possibly Maryland and Delaware into play.

  3. We should tell all our trading, or rather import, partners that we’re going to have a tariff and that in order to have us drop it they need to give us 15 or 20 years of their country having no tariff or low tariffs like we’ve been doing for the last 40 or 50 years. They want free trade they go first. They’ve always talked up free trade terms then reneged. It would hurt world trade but we’re in the hole so bad from imports it couldn’t do anything to use but raise our citizens prosperity.

  4. good stuff

    effectively it’s just a repeat of how the US got a manufacturing industry in the first place before Wall St. looted it.

  5. Trump years ago was calling himself a “down the middle centrist,” even advocating for a one time tax on the extremely wealthy to pay down US debt, not to mention his support for single player, which lately he has had to renounce. I suspect he’s not nearly as “libertarian” in his view on economics as he has claimed, primarily because you can’t run as anything other than extreme right on such issues and win a primary in this country. With the Democrats you have to give away healthcare, college, whatever. With Republicans you have to give it all to the Koch brothers and the other big corporate bozos.

    That’s probably also why Trump keeps calling himself a “free trader.” It’s to defuse the people who– like homos or atheists who freak out at the sight of a Christmas tree– will start foaming at the mouth if you show any signs of heterodoxy.

  6. Sodomites freak out at the sign of the Cross, and a normal woman with children, calling them perverts to their faces.

    Christmas trees are ‘fabulous’ for interior decorators… because all sodos long for their childhood again, before they started their sexual perversion syndrome addiction.

    They KNOW they are engaging in acts that God Condems:

    “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” – Rom 1:32

    those who do such things deserve death
    those who do such things deserve death
    those who do such things deserve death.

    Public stoning of unrepentant Sodomites- it’s not just for breakfast, anymore.

Comments are closed.