VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: John Hickenlooper On Trade War With China: ‘Tariff Wars Are For Losers!’
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), who earlier this year dropped out of the Democratic 2020 presidential race, thinks the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy is wrong for two main reasons: isolationism and its instigation of trade wars.
“[President] Donald Trump‘s reckless and isolationist foreign policy has made our country less safe and the world less safe,” Hickenlooper told uPolitics exclusively.
In fact, since taking office, the Trump administration has distanced the United States from other countries in several ways. Trump has refused to re-commit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement and repeatedly feuded with key, longtime allies like Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, among other missteps in international relations and diplomacy.
Hickenlooper, who announced he would run for the Senate in Colorado against Cory Gardner, also blasted the Trump administration for engaging in a tariff war with China over the last year. The Colorado Democrat cited the fact that no such dispute in history has ever resulted in a victory for either side with respect to their exports or diplomatically.
“[Trump’s] tariff war is a joke,” the former Colorado governor said. “Tariff wars are for losers,” he added, saying he was speaking to the president directly.
Hickenlooper went on to note that the trade war with China has severely hurt American farmers and small manufacturers.
“If you’re a soybean farmer, you need ten good years go get back to where you were two years ago,” he said. “When’s the small manufacturing supposed to come back? It hasn’t come back. We’ve done nothing but put a tariff tax on the American people, which is somewhere between $800 and $1,200 per household per year.”
Hickenlooper added he understands the anger over China repeatedly failing to meet its obligations on international agreements and stealing intellectual property rights and said the country should be kept in check for these reasons. He proposed the use of more multi-lateral trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a more viable solution to dealing with China. Hickenlooper explained pacts like the TPP would allow the U.S. and its allies to “isolate” China’s economy until it adheres to international trade rules and standards.
“The TPP wasn’t right. It needed more protections for workers around the world so they couldn’t compete unfairly with American workers,” Hickenlooper said of the trade deal that proved to be a highly divisive subject during the 2016 election. “It didn’t have enough teeth in it in terms of environmental protections and making sure these trading partners weren’t flaunting their advantage in getting lower costs to manufacture things by polluting and adding to climate change.”
This week, Trump said a trade deal with China is close, although the location of the agreement’s signing remains to be decided. Earlier this month, Trump postponed planned increases in tariffs of $250 billion worth of goods to 30%. Instead, he said, these raises would go into effect in December after an additional 15% tariff on Chinese imports like smartphones and clothing is scheduled to be implemented.