Moulton: Trump administration doesn't have a China strategy

Moulton: Trump administration doesn't have a China strategy
© Greg Nash

Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonUkraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia Gallego leads congressional delegation to Ukraine Bill seeks to aid families of Black WWII veterans deprived of GI benefits MORE (Mass.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said Sunday that the Trump administration doesn't have a strategy to deal with China.

“We absolutely need to get tough with China, and it’s not just on trade. It’s the rising threat that China is to our national security, I mean they are stealing American ideas and American military secrets through the internet every single day," Moulton said on "Fox News Sunday."

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“But we need a strategy, and I listened to Mr. Kudlow’s interview, I don’t think this administration has a strategy, they don’t have any sense of urgency, and they clearly don’t know what this means to American families. 

“Wielding tariffs like a cudgel because it makes the president look tough? That only hurts American families,” Moulton added.

White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE appeared on the program directly before Moulton to explain the administration's next moves with China.

The U.S. and China appeared close to a deal on their year-long trade war last week, until President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE ordered a steep increase in tariffs on Chinese goods after top Beijing officials reportedly backtracked on previous agreements with the White House.

Fox host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceWolf Blitzer will host an evening newscast on CNN's streaming service Audie Cornish hired by CNN, will host show and podcast on streaming service The five biggest media stories of 2021 MORE pressed Moulton on how he would differentiate his approach to China from Trump's if elected president.

“You have to have a comprehensive strategy, and I’m not saying tariffs shouldn’t be an option on the table, and that means that we actually build our alliances in the Pacific," Moulton explained. "I am calling for using the NATO model in the Pacific to help contain China and North Korea.

“It means using institutions like the World Trade Organization, now that’s not perfect, it's not going to solve every problem, but every case that the Obama administration has brought before the WTO, every one that’s been decided has been in our favor."

Moulton, one of the over 20 Democrats in the 2020 race, has been touting his focus on foreign policy to try to carve a niche for himself in the crowded field.