Now-President Donald Trump ran for the gig – promising to clean up DC’s titanically stupid fake “free trade” status quo.
And as is the case with very much of that on which he ran – Trump is now practicing what he preached.
Far too many people in DC have been in full-on freakout mode – in full-on defense of DC’s titanically stupid fake “free trade” status quo.
These stalwarts of stupidity have spent the last several decades ignoring the trade wars so-very-many nations have been unilaterally waging against us.
And have instead only now awoken from their stupors – to attack Trump for finally fighting back.
Speaking of China – Trump also ran on addressing China’s massive Intellectual Property (IP) theft. Which totals upwards of $600 billion per annum, according to most learned estimators.
Again – with yet another titanically stupid headline.
China has been stealing $600+ billion per year in IP for decades – and Trump finally having the US respond “may start an all-out trade war?”
News flash, “news” reporters: China stealing $600+ billion per year in IP – is a huge and brazen act of trade war.
In the process of analyzing a new US-China trade deal – negotiated primarily by Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – Trump noticed a chink in the IP defense armor. And said he intended to address it:
“Multiple reports Tuesday said the administration is nearing a deal to ease sanctions on ZTE in exchange for concessions from the Chinese government.”
The sanctions in question – are no joke.
What is ZTE? Per Wikipedia: “(A) Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It is one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers.”
Trump’s desire to lessen the damage to ZTE – again raised much DC ire.
Although please keep in mind: Very many of these very same people – now angry at Trump for not more thoroughly dropping the hammer on ZTE – just finished up spending decades praising our huge, overtly stupid, overtly one-sided trade deals with the Chinese hammer-and-sickle.
I need to point out to the DC gaggle:
The point of this round of Trump’s China trade policy – is to address China’s IP theft.
ZTE – isn’t stealing IP. They’re paying US firms lots and lots of money for it:
“The company, which is the fourth-largest smartphone maker behind Apple, Samsung and LG, relies on microchips, glass and other parts from U.S. firms such as Qualcomm, Intel and Corning.”
So ZTE getting caught up in a trade action meant to address IP theft – isn’t fair to ZTE.
And it damages US companies such as Qualcomm, Intel and Corning – by cutting off one of the Communist Chinese companies that is actually paying them for their IP.
If we want to continue to negotiate trade deals in good faith and with good standing – with China and every other nation on the planet – we can not punish those who aren’t committing the crime(s) in question at the time.
Now please do not misunderstand: ZTE presents US with a whole host of other problems – which I very much hope the Trump Administration will address.
But that needs to be done – in the proper trade context.
Trump’s emphasis – at this moment – is addressing IP theft.
ZTE – isn’t stealing IP.
So Trump is exactly right to not punish ZTE – for something ZTE isn’t doing.
The DC “Intelligentsia” – is once and yet again woefully wrong.
This first appeared in Red State.