Schumer: If President Trump Knew What Was In Weak “Phase-One” U.S.-China Trade Agreement, He Should Throw It In The Garbage And Take China Back To The Negotiating Table

January 15, 2020

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today at a press conference discussed the so-called “phase-one” U.S.-China trade agreement, which fails to address many of China’s predatory trade and industrial policies, and called for the president to be tough on China. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

I’m glad to be here with two of our experts on China and trade: Senator Wyden and Senator Brown. Now, just a few hours ago, President Trump and his administration committed the United States to a weak, feckless “phase one” trade deal with China. The president has said, again and again, that he’s a deal maker, he cares about American jobs and industry, and he’s tough on China. But when the pressure is on, when jobs and livelihoods are at stake, he buckles. Today is no exception, unfortunately.  While the history books remember that Nixon went to China; they will also remember that Trump bent to China. Though President Trump is touting this agreement as the “biggest ever,” I believe the stunning lack of substance and long-term reform achieved will harm American workers and industry.

Several harmful policies and practices, the core of how China takes advantage of us, remain unaddressed. The agreement does not address the Chinese government’s massive subsidies to support their domestic industries, devastating global markets, and eroding American competitiveness. The agreement does not address the unfair, preferential treatment of China’s state-owned enterprises—entities which are subject to control by the Chinese Communist Party. The agreement does not address China’s illegal dumping of products into the US market at artificially low prices, threatening American jobs, putting American companies out of business. The agreement does not meaningfully address China’s cyber-theft and intrusions into the computer networks of American companies, which has stolen a generation of wealth and jobs. Millions of jobs, probably trillions of dollars, over the years. And lastly, this agreement does not address the fact that significant financial harm has already been made to American farmers, many of whom have watched their markets disappear and gone bankrupt in the time it took to make this deal.

Now let me be clear—I supported the President taking tough action on China.  I was rooting for him to succeed. I said, over and over again, that my views on China were closer to Trump’s that previous administrations, Democrat or Republican. But this so-called “deal” does next to nothing of substance for the workers and businesses feeling the brutal, merciless weight of China’s trade and industrial abuse. I greatly fear that President Xi is laughing at us about behind our backs for having giving away so little at the expense of American workers, farmers, and businesses

This administration, in order to get a deal at all costs, before the 2020 election, has thrown the American worker and the American business overboard. And they are going to be the ones who will be left to face the consequences. So, here’s what I’m calling for today. The president shouldn’t wait for phase two, in 2021 or 2022. He should get back to the table and fix phase one now. Not two years from now, today. Stop the victory lap and get back to work, protecting American workers.

Despite the president’s grandiose, colorful claims about how great this deal is, the American people should know the truth: the president’s trade deal with China is a severe and potentially irreparable loss for the American people, American businesses, and American workers. I know the president attacked me in his press conference at the White House a few minutes ago so let me close by addressing that directly—I know what’s in the deal. I’m not sure the president does. If he knows what’s in the deal—he should throw it away and take China back to the negotiating table. I will cheer him on if he does. 

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