Lindsey Graham on trade: U.S. has more bullets than China

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is not worried about a trade war with China.

While President Donald Trump’s tariffs against China and his recent harsh tweets about the country have some worried, Graham is all for the president’s hardline stance.

(Screenshot from Fox News)

“I like it,” Graham said during a Friday appearance on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha McCallum” of Trump’s trade war with China. “The goal is to get China to stop cheating the United States out of [the] marketshare [and] to play by the rules that everybody else in the world plays by.”

He added, “We almost had a deal several months ago and then they backed out of it. When it comes to a trade war, we’ve got more bullets than they do so I think the president’s determined to get China to change their behavior and I’m 100 percent with him.”

Asked by host Martha McCallum about the negative effect such a trade war is having on the market and the “digging in” companies may need to do in the foreseeable future, Graham said not to put too much stock in how Wall Street responds to Trump’s tactics with China.

“Don’t trust Wall Street to take care of China,” the South Carolina senator added. “If there were a deal with China tomorrow, even though it would be a terrible deal, the stock market would go up 1000 points and 10 years from now we would reap the consequences of that terrible deal.”

He paused and said, “The stock market doesn’t impress me at all when it comes to China.”

Source: Fox News

Graham said the United States has the option to put tariffs on far more products than China does, which gives an advantage in the trade war. He admitted consumers will feel some consequences in the short term, but the temporary hurt will be worth it.

“Will we feel this as consumers? Yes, but pay now or pay later when it comes to China,” Graham said.

He continued by praising Trump and telling him to “keep it up.” The senator added that Trump has a “good hand” right now when it comes to China and it’s smart to play it sooner rather than later.

“Trump’s a street fighter,” Graham later said. The senator believes the president’s tweets are the right tactic with China, even though other insiders may disagree.

The senator also argued that tariffs are “China’s worst nightmare” because they make it more “cost effective” for businesses to make deals outside of China.

Graham’s comments follow President Trump’s Friday tweets where he encouraged companies not to do business with China.

“For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more. Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight,” Trump tweeted.

He continued, “Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer. As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair Trading Relationship.”

“China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!). Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,” the president continued. “Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%. Thank you for your attention to this matter!”


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