Biden flip-flop on China underscores weak trade policy under Obama

June 11, 2019, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting former Vice President Joe Biden’s flip-flop on China trade policy:

“Former Vice President Joe Biden has evolved in the past six weeks from ‘Come on, man.  They’re (China) not competition for us,’ to ‘We are in a competition with China. We need to get tough with China. They are a serious challenge to us, and in some areas a real threat.’

“Where the heck has the former Vice President been for the past fifteen years while trade policy toward China, including under Obama and Biden, was hollowing the U.S. out? Since China entered the WTO in 2001 U.S. manufacturing global market share has dropped from 13 percent to 7.5 percent in 2017, according to World Bank data while China rose from 5 percent to  about 16.5 percent.

“As Vice President, Joe Biden was supposed to be the foreign policy expert on the Obama ticket, yet it is telling that former George W. Bush and Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote in his memoir, ‘I think he [Biden] has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.’

“America faces an existential threat to our economic health posed by a Chinese government which wants continued access to our markets but does not want to respect our basic principles of intellectual property rights.  It is nice that lunch bucket Joe has been listening to President Trump and has changed his mind about China.  However, Joe Biden cannot escape the fact that he served as Vice President and before that as both Chairman and ranking member on the Senate Foreign Services Committee during China’s rise, never apparently noticing that China’s unfair trade practices were in fact eating the lunch of America’s workers in the heartland.

“In admitting that China is a serious challenge and in some areas a real threat, Biden is admitting that he failed as a leader and steward of our nation.  It is great that he now sees his error, but it would be foolish to let someone who has consistently gotten it wrong for his whole career anywhere near the levers of power ever again.”

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