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America must stand up to China

America must stand up to China
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Now is the time for America to stand united against China and other countries that, for too long, have lied, cheated and stolen away American jobs and refused to engage in fair, free trade, to honor human rights, or to abide by treaties, territorial boundaries and military agreements.

I remember that, as a student in junior high school, there was always a bully who preyed on the smaller, weaker kids and stole their lunch money — until, one day, the other kids had enough and ambushed the bully, and he was stopped. China today is a global bully. But America is not small, and we are not weak – so why have we and our allies allowed China for years to run the tables on us with trade violations, intellectual property theft, military provocations and currency manipulation?

China has masqueraded as a “developing country” for years now. It is everything but. China refuses to play by the rules and uses its economic power to bully others into submission. America’s economy was the strongest it has been in decades, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and we will return to strength sooner rather than later if we put America first.

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Now more than ever is time to take it to China from a position of strength. China has a problem we do not: It has a population of more than 1.3 billion people it must house, clothe, feed and employ. That population is expanding at a rate that is unsustainable if China were forced to play by the rules. China cannot afford a fight that will cost it dearly. Add to that the fact that the pandemic which it allowed to spread globally has not only hurt it economically — it has hurt China’s credibility and standing in the world.

There is no doubt that if America takes on China on trade and other issues of contention, it will have a cost to the American economy. Any pain caused to our economy in the short term, however, will pale in comparison to the gains that will be realized in the long term.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE is taking a long-term approach with China. China believes America is not capable of thinking and responding beyond the moment; it sees our internal political divisions as a weakness it can exploit. China has a 100-year plan while America, in China’s eyes, lumbers from election cycle to election cycle. China’s President Xi Jinping has a lifetime position, while a U.S. president is term-limited. China, for too long, has had a policy of delay that is calculated to wait us out or wear us out.

We have options. There are other countries around the globe, including Vietnam, that would welcome U.S. business. The United States should always be looking to diversify our trade and not put all of our eggs in one country’s basket.

For too long prior to President Trump, China charged tariffs on American goods that we did not impose reciprocally on its goods. It “dumped” products on us and others, undercutting the price and markets for U.S.-made goods. It stole our intellectual property; it entered into trade agreements it had no intention of honoring — and followed a “catch us if you can” attitude.

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Unless and until China is held to account, America will suffer — jobs will be lost, goods will cost more, intellectual property will be stolen, and China will prosper by cheating instead of competing.

President Trump, on behalf of the American people, has taken a stand against China on multiple fronts with regard to its many clear violations of bilateral and multinational agreements, conventions, treaties and norms. We must ensure that our farmers, manufacturers, businesses and consumers feel as little pain as possible as we seek to balance the ledger.

China sees our democracy as a weakness to exploit. President Xi does not have the same challenges a free society does, such as a free press, while he has the ability to govern by edict instead of consensus and compromise.

The passing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement was a stroke of genius by President Trump. USMCA was worked on and passed before the coronavirus pandemic hit us; as a result, USMCA put America and our largest trading partners in a much stronger position to deal with China and the rest of the world.

China is banking, literally, on Trump losing in November. There is nothing it would want more than a Biden presidency, which it surely believes will help to change its fortunes at the expense of America’s. You can bet that it will work to achieve that goal.

After all, President Trump is Xi’s worst nightmare. The next four years of a Trump administration would be ones of accountability for China on COVID-19, trade, intellectual property, human rights, military expansion, currency manipulation, the dumping of products, tariffs, diplomacy, and much more.

Bradley A. Blakeman was a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004. A principal of the 1600 Group, a strategic communications firm, he is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University and a frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business.