Washington Post columnist Max Boot offers a multiple choice quiz for readers about President Trump and China.
“What’s the biggest danger from China?” he asks in his June 6 column.
And then he provides three possible answers: (a) its trade surplus with the United States; (b) its theft of U.S. technology; or (c) its aggression in the South China Sea?
Being a columnist, of course, he answers his own question.
“Most experts would say (b) or (c). President Trump thinks it’s (a). Therein lies a big problem.”
Trump Should Cut Budget Deficit
Boot points out that with the United States at full employment, the American economy can’t produce enough goods to satisfy consumers.
“Ergo: We have to import more, and the trade deficit rises,” Boot says. “If Trump truly wanted to cut the trade deficit, he would cut the budget deficit.”
Trump isn’t going to do that, however. He’s a free spender — not a free-trader.
Trump Policy Is Incoherent
Boot admits that China doesn’t play fair when it comes to trade. But Trump’s prescriptions for fixing the situation don’t make sense.
“Beijing steals U.S. intellectual property, produces counterfeit goods and does business with rogue regimes. Those are violations of international trade rules that the United States could pursue in concert with its allies through the World Trade Organization, targeting violators with sanctions, if necessary. That’s hard to do, however, when the United States itself violates WTO rules by slapping arbitrary tariffs on our major trade partners. To add to the incoherence, Trump is actually lifting sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE despite its documented violations of U.S. trade rules — including export of U.S. telecom equipment to Iran and North Korea.”