House Republican: Tariffs are 'only way' to change US-China relationship

Rep. Tim BurchettTimothy (Tim) Floyd BurchettTennessee lawmaker tweets cellphone number, offers to talk to anyone 'overwhelmed' by pandemic House Republican: Tariffs are 'only way' to change US-China relationship GOP lawmaker on Iran tensions: Military should always be 'the last option' MORE (R-Tenn.) defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE’s ongoing trade war with China, arguing that such a hardline approach is the only way to fundamentally change diplomatic relations with Beijing.

“The president is correct — it’s the only way,” Burchett, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Hill.TV during an interview that aired on Tuesday, referring to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods.

“This diplomacy they’ve been doing in the past is basically us giving them our checkbook and Congress is basically gutless when it comes to China,” he added. “We need to stand up them — they’re bullies.”

Trump has found broad support for his tariffs within the Republican Party. However, some experts and economists have warned that his trade battles with China and Europe are starting to take a toll on the U.S. economy.

The U.S. manufacturing activity has seen a sharp decline over the last several months, though Trump places this blame squarely on the Federal Reserve.

Trump on Tuesday once again attacked the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, accusing them of hurting U.S. exporters by keeping the value of the U.S. dollar too high.

The U.S. and China, meanwhile, are set to resume trade talks during the second week of October, just ahead of a delayed increase of tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Trump administration had moved a scheduled increase of tariffs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 in light of renewed negotiations. The latest round would increase tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on an estimated $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Trump has made his relationship with China a centerpiece of foreign policy, and whether or not the president strikes a deal with the country could play a key role in his reelection campaign in 2020.

—Tess Bonn