The president’s chief advisor on trade policy takes to the pages of the Financial Times today to explain the administration’s position (pardon the British spelling and punctuation):
Critics of Mr Trump are quick to blame the stock market’s recent volatility on the president’s trade policies. The reality is that stock prices are driven by earnings growth and earnings growth is driven by economic growth. Mr Trump’s agenda has put the US economy on a path to robust growth and corporate earnings.
China’s reaction to Mr Trump’s legitimate defence of the American homeland has been a Great Wall of denial — despite incontrovertible evidence of Beijing’s illicit and protectionist behaviour. Instead, China is attacking American farmers with the threat of retaliatory tariffs in the apparent hope of rattling a key component of the coalition that put Mr Trump in office. There is a reason, however, that the president sits behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. And when he stands, Mr Trump stands up for the American people — and American farmers.
Mr Trump seeks only a shared prosperity based on trade peace. His vision is that of a global trading system free of the imbalances and unfair practices that now hold growth back, not just in the US but around the world. To realise this vision, trade must first be fair and reciprocal. China’s policies have distorted markets and harmed producers around the world. Others have long shared US concerns, and we welcome like-minded countries in taking concrete action with us to fight market-distorting policies.
These principles are the foundation of the Trump administration’s trade policies. It would be a welcome change if China were to embrace them too.
As Spencer P. Morrison has written for American Greatness, Trump’s tariffs are important for U.S. consumers and producers alike.
“If China honored America’s property rights—just as we honor theirs—we would actually have a trade surplus,” he argued last week. “Tariffs can help redress this issue.”
Earlier: “What comparative advantage America does have in high-tech industries is diminished by the fact that foreign governments heavily subsidize their advanced industries, steal our intellectual property, and benefit from nominally cheaper markets . . . Without high tariffs to level the playing field and reverse this process,” Morrison writes, “America will soon be on the outside-looking-in, buying the future we should have been building.”