"The Chinese feel that they have a blended form of Communism and Capitalism. They manage their workers as they is best for their country and not the worker. Our best approach is to let these changes [de-arm nuclear North Korea; fighting terrorism] that we are trying to affect happen on their own from the inside. I believe we could work for a fair trade approach that the Chinese would value as beneficial to them."
Bill O'Connor, CEO
Patriot American Solutions
Rockaway, New Jersey
During the 2016 Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump attacked our trade policy with China. It is significant because our two countries constitute two of the largest trading partners on the planet. Unfortunately, the balance of trade is badly out of proportion. The U.S. imports of Chinese products are estimated to be $362 Billion, while China's imports from us are estimated to be $127 Billion. That is an imbalance of $ 245 Billion in favor of the Chinese. Said another way, those are lost U. S. opportunities, jobs, smart systems integration, and physical material identification, movement and count.
Rather than using all our political capital with China to serve as a foil for negotiations with North Korea to de-arm their nukes or enlist help with fighting terrorism, a more direct solution for this serious and growing economic trade imbalance, we might propose a sliding tariff program to move the balance to close to zero over a realistic time frame. This "Fair Trade" instead of "Free Trade" could be our new policy with all our international trading partners. We should have a specific trade policy with every country.
China knows of our impatience with this trade deficit, which may be why they are allegedly stealing our intellectual property at shocking levels. With an Agreement on Fair Trade, we might be able to include some intellectual property sharing and technological partnering to advance both economies among our massive populations. With the economics more in balance, other mutual objectives might be directly addressed, like North Korea and terrorism.
The Administration and Congress need to see this Trade Opportunity as a part of the big "Infrastructure Legislation" expected to be enacted early this year.