New Op-ed: Congress Must Stand With President Trump To Fight China’s Economic Aggression
Congress Must Stand With President Trump To Fight China’s Economic Aggression
Republicans need to give President Trump the tools he needs to fight China’s economic aggression against the U.S. and win.
President Trump sounded the alarm on the true nature of Beijing’s communist regime when he declared America’s days of economic surrender are over.
History may record this as President Trump’s greatest single accomplishment.
But that will only happen if we write the history books — history is written by the victors. Should Beijing succeed in its bid to take over the world, the history of the United States as well as our future will look very different.
Congress will determine what that future looks like.
Whether or not China succeeds depends on whether or not lawmakers reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
Ex-Im, as the bank commonly known, is the export credit agency of the U.S. government. It facilitates the export of U.S. goods and services by providing American businesses with the financing necessary to compete for global sales. It actually makes a profit, returning billions to the Treasury as exporters repay the loans.
American businesses face stiff competition as they bid for contracts around the world.
The Trump administration is committed to reauthorizing the bank because it is essential to countering international competitors such as China that make use of a diverse array of credit agencies.
The Chinese communist government is the world’s largest provider of export subsidies. It is using them on a global scale to outmaneuver the U.S. in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
China’s main international finance agencies, Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) and the China Development Bank (CDB), are funding $334 billion of infrastructure projects globally.
This allows Chinese companies to beat out American companies to build dams, ports, power plants and other infrastructure projects around the world. Bye bye, Bechtel – Beijing just underbid you.
There is a national security dimension to this. China is using the international development program known as the Belt and Road Initiative to lock in maritime and aviation facilities near strategic chokepoints and U.S. military bases overseas.
China has constructed a network of ports around the Indian Ocean from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Kenya to encircle its chief Asian rival, India.
China showers money on Pakistan with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) building roads, pipelines, power plants, industrial parks and a port on the Arabian Sea.
Beijing offers countries “too good to be true” financing terms. When those countries default on repayment, China takes over the facilities entirely.
In 2017, China dispatched troops to the commercial-port operation it runs in Djibouti, a small country strategically located on the horn of Africa, and declared it China’s first overseas military base. It’s conveniently adjacent to a U.S. military facility.
Export financing enables the Chinese espionage-cum-telecom company Huawei to offer countries zero-interest loans to build 5G Internet infrastructure. Once China controls 5G information networks, it controls everything.
Our National Security Strategy recognizes how China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure across the globe to expand influence and gain competitive advantages against the United States.
In sort, the global economy is the battlefield on which we must engage China to stop its bid for global dominance.
President Trump understands the strategic importance of the Export-Import Bank in that battle.
“It’s a very good thing and it actually makes money,” President Trump told the Wall Street Journal. “First of all lots of small companies will really be helped, the vendor companies, but also maybe more importantly, other countries give it. And when other countries give it, we lose a tremendous amount of business.”
Congress needs to unite behind President Trump, defend American jobs, farms and industries and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
Anything else would be unilateral disarmament in the face of China’s economic aggression.
-Curtis Ellis is Senior Policy Director for America First Policies.