Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters at the White House Wednesday that former President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum were responsible for saving American jobs.
“With respect to tariffs, there is a place for tariffs. The 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum have in fact helped save American jobs in the steel and aluminum industries,” she said in a shockingly rare point of agreement with anything the previous administration did in terms of the economy, especially.
“So what do we do with tariffs? We have to level the playing field. No one can out-compete the American worker if the playing field is level,” Raimondo added.
“And the fact is, China’s actions are uncompetitive, coercive, underhanded. They’ve proven they’ll do whatever it takes. And so I plan to use all the tools in my toolbox as aggressively as possible to protect American workers and businesses from unfair Chinese practices,” she continued.
The Epoch Times reports:
President Donald Trump in March 2018 imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Some countries were temporarily exempted from the tariffs. Currently, South Korea, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil are permanently exempted. The tariffs on Canada and Mexico were lifted with the signing of the U.S. Mexico and Canada Agreement.
During the same month in 2018, Trump fired the first salvo in the trade war with China, imposing tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responded with retaliatory tariffs and the tit for tat has escalated since. Trump had reasoned that the tariffs were necessary to force the CCP to abandon unfair trade practices and pay a price for years of rampant intellectual property theft from the United States.
In addition, the former president targeted private companies in China over national security concerns to include the potential for those firms to obtain, on behalf of the ChiCom government, terabytes of data on Americans.
The Commerce secretary made her comments in response to a question from a reporter who asked her to clear up the Biden White House’s position on TikTok, a social media app that Trump once threatened to ban unless the Chinese firm that owns the platform sold its American affiliate to a U.S. company.
“So I would say, here’s my broad view, and I don’t want to get into details on any particular company,” Raimondo said.
“My broad view is what we do on offense is more important than we do on defense. To compete in the long run with China, we need to rebuild America in all of the ways we’re talking about today, and by the way, do that with our allies. We have to work with our allies and find common ground where we can,” she added.
Before Trump followed the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci and his other health advisers to recommend shutting down the economy and the country to ‘bend the curve’ of the coronavirus, the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen to its lowest level in decades — 3.4 percent, which many economists likened to what was essentially full employment.
Obviously, our businessman president knew what he was doing when it came to running the economy for certain; it’s good to see some acknowledgment of that from a Biden administration official.