Herman Cain: Trump is winning the trade war China started

Exclusive op-ed from former presidential candidate Herman Cain

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President Trump’s critics said it couldn’t be done, but thanks to his bold leadership we’re winning the trade war against China.

The naysayers said the President’s strategic counter-tariffs would drag us into a trade war we couldn’t win. But President Trump knew the truth — we’ve been in a trade war with China for decades, and they were kicking our butts.

China’s products are now ubiquitous in our lives. Their government bad-faith actions have manipulated the global economy and created vast amounts of wealth for the Chinese on the backs of generations of working-class Americans.

Keeping the promise he made to the American people, the President pushed back on decades of China’s abusive economic policies by implementing those counter-tariffs — despite the howling protests from his opponents — and our workers and businesses are prospering under the protection they provide from Chinese aggression.

This isn’t complicated: China’s economy depends more on the American market than American markets depend on China. Restricting their access to it will bring their economy to its knees. They have no other choice but to concede defeat by dropping their tariffs on American imports.

China simply can’t match America tariff-for-tariff because it exports four times as many goods than it imports from the U.S. Our hundreds of billions of dollars in trade deficit with China is hundreds of billions of dollars in trade profits their economy can’t afford to lose.

The Chinese economy is already wobbling, struggling to keep pace with our economic boom. While American businesses are confident about the US economy, the trade war is said to be unsettling China’s leaders who are noticing the country’s slump.

A recent analysis by CNBC concluded that “China’s economy, much more vulnerable to exports, is likely to take a bigger hit than the U.S. from the escalating trade war.”

If President Trump pulls China into a full-out trade war, experts estimate that China’s growth rate could drop by as much as 1.5 percent, preventing them from achieving their GDP goals.

Beijing will undoubtedly object to additional U.S. tariffs and moan about being unfairly targeted by President Trump — but this won’t change the fact that China deserves to be reprimanded for decades of trade and labor abuse.

In total, China is responsible for a staggering loss of six million American manufacturing jobs from 1999 to 2010.

By stealing intellectual property, China is causing between $225 billion to $600 billion in U.S. losses every year.

Likewise, China’s manipulation of currency has given it an unfair advantage over foreign competitors.

Criticizing President Trump’s counter-tariffs on China is like chiding a bank for attempting to stop a robbery. America simply can’t continue to do nothing while China steals our jobs, intellectual property, and money.

Thankfully, the President’s effort to protect American industries is already having a monumental impact on our workers and companies.

For starters, the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum have helped steelmakers, with multiple companies stating that they are benefitting under the new policy.

American farmers will also see major long-term benefits from tariffs, according to the CEO of the Summit Agricultural Group, Bruce Rastetter.

“We’ve seen tariffs, we’ve seen barriers to selling product, and it needs to be fixed,” he told Fox News in July, later adding that “We’re in the best position to be the lowest cost, most efficient producer in the world if we have access to a level playing field.”

For decades, our politicians were too afraid to stand up to China and challenge their unfair tariffs and underhanded practices that cost us millions of jobs. But President Trump is not one of those politicians. Thanks to his leadership, America is standing firmly against China’s bullying and is putting Beijing in its place.

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Herman Cain is former CEO of the National Restaurant Association and a former presidential candidate.

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