Article originally published in LaborPress
By Robert Weiner and Ben Lasky
After deferring to China for Korea and seeing no results, President Trump's return to disciplining China over trade crimes is the right position. On Aug. 14, President Trump authorized a probe on China's trade practices, with a focus on intellectual property theft as well as theft of American technologies. Add to the mix: devalued currency, refusal to sell fair quantities of American-made products, unbelievably low worker wages, lead and other poisons in dog food and baby food, plagiarized health and cancer research, deficient tires. Trump has now come back around to the correct view.
The President slipped off the wagon for a while. He pressed on the point that the U.S. needed China to help deter a nuclear North Korea. However, dozens of missile tests later, with Kim Jong Un even closer to a long-range nuclear weapon, Trump now realizes that China only used the North Korea bait to give themselves more trade freedom against us. It is time to call the Chinese government out.
The U.S. economy is weakened by Chinese intellectual property theft, counterfeit goods, and deficient products competing with American brands. China was unwilling to help make North Korea release Otto Warmbier early enough to get him medical help. In an interview on CNN Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) the Senate Democratic Leader, told Trump how to handle China: "You say, 'you can't push America around anymore,' which they've been able to do for administration after administration. Stop doing that. The President should say, 'You're not dealing with North Korea the way you should be.'"
On June 20, Trump tweeted about Warmbier, "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!"
Instead, China is giving us a victory here and there-- they will now import beef from us. That's nice of them. Apparently we can sell cows to China, but not cars.
Schumer criticized Trump for at first reversing course. In an April 12 press conference right after his meetings with China's leader, Trump said, "They're not currency manipulators," which he had called them at least fifteen times on the campaign trail. Schumer said of Trump and his team, "Now they say they (China) aren't manipulating their currency. They are. I think China just does what it wants "They gain trillions of dollars by stealing intellectual property, by dumping excess steel and aluminum. The way to get China to help with North Korea is be tougher with them on trade."