During a new round of U.S.-China trade talks, members of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs stressed that the only way to force China to change its long-term unfair trade practices would be to increase the pressure.
Speaking in Washington on May 9, Congressman Steve Chabot said, “I am not necessarily for increasing tariffs, but I do think that we need to get the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China’s] attention.” He said while this will hurt some businesses in the United States in the short-term, “long-term, China has been ripping off the rest of the world for such a long time.
“The President has said ‘Enough’s enough,’ Chabot said. “Even though I might not have done this way—I think the President’s right.”
Ted Yoho said any international trade agreement should be fair and balanced; but that right now, with China, it’s not. The ranking member for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation said in facing China’s unfair trade practices, the United States has no other choice but to increase the pressure.
“You know, the only way we can do that [face China’s unfair trade practices] is more economic pressure, and encourage our manufacturers to manufacture anywhere but China. That’s the road we want to go down—that I am recommending we go down,” Yoho said.
Congressman Scott Perry said he believes increasing tariffs will affect U.S. companies, but that the United States can no longer tolerate China’s abuse of the American market and stealing American jobs. He said President Trump has given China plenty of time to transition.
“He’s given them enough time now. This recent backing-off on things that had been agreed to in the trade discussion is just an indicator of their lack of respect for the process. They really don’t want to do it, and I get that. But we must do it, and they must know that,” Perry said. “And the only way they are going to know that is if we are serious about it.”
If a trade agreement can finally be reached, Perry said, the United States must also ensure it is ready.
“We have to be prepared for punishment and for enforcement, and China has to know that,” he said. “And, we have to be willing to do it.”