Sen. Pat Toomey on Sunday defended President Donald Trump amid the administration’s trade war with China, arguing that an eventual agreement with Beijing may be “worth the price” of the “absolutely painful” tariffs hammering American farmers.
“I actually think the president is right to challenge China,” the Pennsylvania Republican told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” adding that he classifies the Asian power “in a distinct category separate from” other U.S. competitors and adversaries.
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“China is the world’s second biggest economy. It’s a revisionist power. It’s now, for the first time, attempting to be able to project force. It’s intimidating neighbors. It’s disrupting American institutions. And it has engaged in some egregious economic behavior — the theft of intellectual property in various ways,” Toomey said.
Tariffs are designed to get another country to change its approach to trade, but they also have an effect on consumers, raising prices on the imported goods they purchase.
“This agreement, if we reach one, won’t solve all of those problems, and the tariffs are absolutely painful and dislocating,” he said. “But if, in the end, we end up with an agreement that gives us a meaningful reform of China’s most egregious behavior, we might look back and say, ‘This was worth the price that we’re paying.’”
The trade conflict escalated Wednesday when Trump signed an executive order aimed at blocking Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei, an electronics manufacturer and technology giant, from selling equipment in the United States.