For American workers and manufacturers, the “Phase 1” U.S.-China trade agreement is completely inadequate.
The New York Young Republican Club understands how difficult it has been for U.S. negotiators to secure commitments from China to change their predatory trade practices that have led to the United States’ unprecedented $5 trillion cumulative bilateral trade deficit in goods with China and the loss of a staggering 3.7 million jobs, largely in manufacturing. The administration deserves credit for recognizing our nation’s flawed economic relationship with China and for taking strong measures to prompt negotiations. The use of tariffs in response to China’s litany of unfair trade practices have proven to be an effective and appropriate tool to trigger negotiations with China.
But the current deal does not put American workers on a level playing field in the U.S. or global market and leaves nearly all major structural issues unresolved.
Thus the New York Young Republican Club urges an immediate resumption of negotiations and sustained economic pressure to address industrial subsidies and overcapacity, state-owned enterprises, predatory investment, currency manipulation and misalignment, cyber intrusions, worker rights, environmental rules, and tax policy.
This is a long-term process that will require a sustained, bipartisan commitment on the part of all U.S. policymakers, including both the current and future administrations. The United States cannot afford to go back to endless dialogue with China and polite requests for reform. American workers and U.S. manufacturing companies need a deal that is comprehensive, specific, enforceable, and backed by strong and automatic penalties if Beijing fails to live up to its words – as has repeatedly been the case under previous administrations of both political parties. It is essential that we maintain pressure on China, using the leverage of remaining Section 301 tariffs to immediately resume negotiations on a Phase 2 agreement.