Whatever your feelings about President Donald J. Trump, you cannot deny he has a propensity to speak his mind.
Trump has been a fierce critic of China and its policies for over a decade. In 2011 for example, long before he ran for president, Trump tweeted: “China is neither an ally or a friend -- they want to beat us and own our country.”
Now Trump has issued his strongest threat so far to China over the communist nation’s handling of the coronavirus.
Speaking to Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business, Trump said "There are many things we could do. We could cut off the whole relationship."
"Now, if you did, what would happen," asked Trump. "You’d save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship."
Think about what that might mean. It seems reasonable to cut off any federal funding or investment in China.
Per Fox News, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow wrote on Monday to U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia that the White House does not want the Thrift Savings Plan -- which is a federal employee retirement fund -- to have money invested in Chinese equities that numbers about $4 billion in assets.
Also, China currently owns about one trillion dollars of U.S. debt. By some estimates, the U.S. pays $73.9 million per day in interest to China.
So…maybe we could just not pay? That would probably hurt.
We get a lot more stuff from China than we send to them – about five times more, in dollar value. So, who would it hurt most, if we just cut that off? Well, that’s hard to say. A lot of American companies (i.e. Apple) depend on China to make their devices. If that’s no longer an option, they’ll have to find another place to do it, which could potentially make products a lot more expensive for consumers.
Or we could just ramp up manufacturing capability here in the U.S. A great idea, but where are we going to find the skilled technicians and employees to run those facilities? People will need to be retrained – or trained in the first place.
It’s not impossible. We have a lot of “made in the U.S.A” companies — perhaps more than people think. We’ve simply grown accustomed to not noticing or caring. Here’s a list of 100 companies for starters, in a variety of categories.
At Nine Line, we’re big proponents of made in America, particularly when it comes to personal protective equipment for our frontline warriors on the battle against the spread of the coronavirus. Here’s some more information about our Masks for Heroes initiative.
It’s hard not to feel China bears some amount of blame for the spread of COVID. In the same interview on Fox, regarding China’s response to inquiries from the U.S. about the spread of the coronavirus, Trump said, “We asked to go over and they said no. They didn’t want our help. And I figured that was OK because they must know what they are doing. So it was either stupidity, incompetence or deliberate.
Hmm. Which one do you think it is?