Urging Caution on Tariffs

The benefits of free and fair trade are numerous. Our economy grows when American manufacturers, agricultural producers and small businesses can fairly compete in today’s global marketplace. Americans are safer when we have strong trading partners who are in our corner. When fair trade agreements are negotiated with nations that are not natural allies, it enables us to not only trade goods, but ideas. The last point is particularly salient when it comes to our current impasse with China.

When it comes to playing by the rules of fair trade, there is no doubt that China is a bad actor. Among other things, the Chinese government has subsidized its steel and aluminum production, blocked importation of certain U.S. agricultural products and imposed significant trade barriers to hurt foreign pharmaceutical companies. By engaging in widespread theft of trade secrets and intellectual property, China has earned the label of “the world’s principal IP infringer.”

 

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