For all of Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) faults, which are legion, he does have this one right: President Trump is entirely within his legal rights to call for tariffs for national security reasons. So Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and other Republican Senators need to simmer down.
We need to remember where all of this tariff kerfuffle began. Trump, after a nearly year-long study by the Commerce Department, decided that for national security reasons, our steel and aluminum industries needed to be protected. While it’s apparently lost on some, no superpower for national security reasons would ever allow another country to decimate its steel and aluminum industries.
This is what China is doing by dumping artificially cheap steel on the world market. Nor would any superpower watch its allies bow to China instead of standing with it to oppose its unfair trade practices, especially when that superpower, in many cases, has been their strongest ally for decades.
The United States is under no obligation to let China decimate key industries and, while we’re at it, gut us with forced technology transfers. Not all wars are fought on battlefields; between China’s behavior on steel and aluminum, and the estimated trillions in forced technology transfers over the last decade, it declared economic war on us years ago. Our previous leaders were willing to naively sell us out to China, letting the proverbial fox into the chicken coop, and Trump is putting a hard stop to all of that by pointing out that in fact China is a fox, not a friend.