This article originally appeared on Fox News on June 21, 2019.
President Trump’s critics often complain that his strategic use of tariffs violates sacrosanct principles of free trade. In reality, his bold approach is about securing truly free trade while protecting U.S. national security interests.
Doctrinaire support for an idealized version of free trade ignores reciprocity. Trade isn’t truly free unless it is truly fair. If one party is cheating, there’s nothing fair – or free – about it.
Over the past 75 years, America has led the world toward greater prosperity by serving as a role model for free trade. But while many other countries have followed our example, some have sought to take advantage of our openness.
China has for decades been the most flagrant violator, with its numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.
These barriers include China’s manipulation of its currency to boost exports and depress imports, and the nation’s brazen theft of American intellectual property. In addition, China subsidizes its companies so they can eliminate U.S. competitors by dumping artificially underpriced products in our markets and imposing excessive tariffs.
All this takes place while China takes advantage of our willingness to import its goods.
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