Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tariffs on Chinese Goods

Donald Trump caused a stir when he proposed tariffs to offset abusive practices by “countries that are taking advantage of the United States and laughing at our stupidity.” In response to Trump, Ted Cruz warned that Americans would be forced to pay higher prices for Chinese-made goods at Walmart. “Honestly, it’s just the opposite,” Trump retorted, because “we will start building those factories and those plants,” and “people will buy products, rather than through China where we’re being ripped off.”

A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research criticizes free trade with China. This new report, called “The China Shock,” shows how trade with China has resulted in higher unemployment and lower wages across our country. Last year imports from China rose to a new record high of $481.9 billion, while the Chinese bought less than a quarter of that amount from the United States. Those hundreds of billions of dollars we sent to China last year could have supported millions of good jobs for Americans, but instead financed the Chinese military.

According to the 200-year-old theory of free trade, workers who lose manufacturing jobs to China should be able to find new jobs in other industries that benefit from a trade surplus, such as medicine and legal services. But millions of those workers, many of whom are men trying to support a family, have had to settle for lower-paying jobs, while others give up entirely and go on welfare. The percentage of men between age 25 and 54 who are not employed has tripled in the last half century.

In the general election in November, there will be millions of voters ready to cast their ballots for a candidate who stands up for American workers rather than catering to lobbyists who seek free-trade deals.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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