Congressman Tim Ryan Calls on President Trump to Keep Promises on China

Apr 6, 2017 Issues: Economy, Manufacturing

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan joined with 90 of his House Democratic colleagues to call on President Trump to fix failed trade policies with China. Throughout his campaign and his first months in office, President Trump pledged to the American people that he would correct our China trade policy and declared that this was essential to delivering on two other promises—to reduce our massive trade deficit and to ‘bring back’ American manufacturing jobs. However, the President has yet to act on these critical issues that are so important to the state of Ohio and our nation as a whole.

“Throughout your campaign, you promised a get-tough-on-China trade policy and pledged to declare China a currency manipulator on your first day in office. You reiterated that pledge ‘to protect American workers’ in your ‘Contract with the American Voter,’ stating that on your first day in office: ‘I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator,’” wrote the Members. “However, on February 23, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explicitly stated that the Administration was not ready to make any such declaration. The same day, you told a group of manufacturing Chief Executive Officers visiting the White House that you would take strong action to combat China’s ‘$500 billion’ trade deficit with the United States. In addition, on February 24, you stated that China was the ‘grand champion’ at manipulating its currency.”

The Members also called out President Trump for not indicating his plans with respect to the United States-China Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIT). The BIT would replicate key aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), two agreements that President Trump castigated as damaging to American workers and the economy. Further, the BIT would include the investor protections found in NAFTA and the TPP that make it easier to offshore American jobs, and it would give Chinese firms, including state-owned enterprises, broader rights to purchase U.S. firms, land, and other assets. The BIT would make current China trade issues significantly worse.

The full letter is available here.