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Andy Puzder: NAFTA desperately needs to be replaced. So why is Democratic leadership standing in the way?

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-12cbf3d251174e119e24084c8352b550 Andy Puzder: NAFTA desperately needs to be replaced. So why is Democratic leadership standing in the way? fox-news/world/trade fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc b473937d-cdd8-53cb-b50c-b3fc4bf18ff8 article Andy Puzder /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada have already signed the most important trade deal in a generation. Mexico and Canada, not China, are currently our two largest trading partners. For the sake of America’s economy and workers, this deal needs to get done.

The only obstacle is political obstruction by congressional Democrats more intent on depriving President Trump of a win than bestowing one on the American people.

This is politics at its worst, and that’s saying something.

NEWT GINGRICH: DEM PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DOING A GREAT JOB SHOWING VOTERS WHY TRUMP SHOULD BE REELECTED

The United States stands to make immense economic gains from this comprehensive renegotiation of the deeply flawed 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The importance of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is widely recognized on both sides of the political aisle, yet more than nine months after the signing ceremony, it lingers in Congress, unratified, undebated and uncertain.

As a “non-self-executing treaty,” both Houses of Congress have to pass the USMCA before it can take effect. Like all treaties of this magnitude, the deal deserves careful debate. But, given its broad popularity, the process should be much further along by now.

The question isn’t whether the deal is worth making, but rather why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preventing debate. Various Democratic lawmakers have suggested that they might wish to tweak certain aspects of the agreement, but so far they’ve largely avoided even learning about the details.

The reasons for ratifying the USMCA as quickly as possible are readily apparent. NAFTA was poorly negotiated, typical of an era of very bad trade dealings by American leaders that hurt the people they should protect the most.

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Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana — two Republicans from the heartland constituencies hit hardest by NAFTA’s shortcomings — both published very persuasive arguments this past week explaining why the USMCA is so beneficial for the United States.

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They point to the higher wages and labor protections that will be, for the first time, imposed on Mexican factories that produce goods for the U.S. market. Many Mexican auto workers, for example, will have to earn at least $16 per hour in order for the cars they make to qualify for tariff-free export to America. That will decrease incentives to offshore American manufacturing jobs and give workers in Detroit a fair chance to compete.

American farmers, meanwhile, will gain easier access to Canadian and Mexican markets — something they’ve been seeking in vain for decades.

But while Trump was the mastermind behind the USMCA, it’s not just Republicans who are convinced of the agreement’s merits, or at least eager to keep the ball moving forward. In July, 14 House Democrats signed a letter to Pelosi urging her to let the House vote on the USMCA before year-end.

We need to replace NAFTA, and Democratic leadership is the only thing standing in the way.

The principles behind this deal are neither partisan nor ideological — getting a better deal for American workers and requiring more robust labor and environmental protections from our trading partners are goals that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have explicitly endorsed, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, even as she rejects the USMCA.

The Warren example sheds a revealing light on Pelosi’s obstructionism. It’s clear as day why Warren is opposing USMCA. She’s running for president against the man whose vision and determination made the deal a reality. Of course, she opposes it.

Warren’s cover story is that she thinks the USMCA is too lenient on pharmaceutical companies, but there’s no evidence the deal would actually raise drug prices for Americans. In any event, the place to bring up such concerns would be during open debate in Congress, where they could be addressed in the final deal, assuming Warren could get enough of her colleagues to share her tongue-in-cheek skepticism.

The same logic is at work with Pelosi. She is stalling, refusing to set a date, and dodging questions about whether it protects workers and the environment — despite the fact the USMCA has the most robust labor and environmental protections of any major trade deal the United States has ever signed.

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Like Warren, Pelosi’s opposition is just politics at its worst — and that’s saying something. If Pelosi really believes the protections are insufficient, then she and her allies should suggest modifications, or even pass USMCA and request that the U.S. trade representative work with our partners to improve the deal going forward.

The only reason Democrats are dragging their feet on the USMCA is because they wish to deny Trump a hard-fought win as we approach an election year. That Machiavellian approach is not what America’s economy and workers need right now. We need to replace NAFTA, and the Democratic Party’s leadership is the only thing standing in the way.

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Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-12cbf3d251174e119e24084c8352b550 Andy Puzder: NAFTA desperately needs to be replaced. So why is Democratic leadership standing in the way? fox-news/world/trade fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc b473937d-cdd8-53cb-b50c-b3fc4bf18ff8 article Andy Puzder /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-12cbf3d251174e119e24084c8352b550 Andy Puzder: NAFTA desperately needs to be replaced. So why is Democratic leadership standing in the way? fox-news/world/trade fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc b473937d-cdd8-53cb-b50c-b3fc4bf18ff8 article Andy Puzder /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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Trump visits Ohio factory with Australia’s prime minister, touts economy

President Trump visited Ohio, a state essential to his 2020 reelection strategy, with Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, taking the stage at a recycled-paper factory Sunday evening to highlight the United States’ investment partnership with the country.

Trump and Morrison visited the new factory in Wapakoneta, which is being opened by Anthony Pratt, an Australian businessman investing billions of dollars in the United States to create thousands of manufacturing jobs. Wapakoneta is about an hour north of Dayton.

“If it wasn’t for your presidency, this mill would not be here today,” Pratt said, praising the Trump administration’s economic and tax policies.

TRUMPS HOST AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER FOR RARE STATE DINNER IN ROSE GARDEN

“Today we celebrate the extraordinary economic partnership between our nations and we proudly declare that Pratt Industries and this great, great state of Ohio is open for business,” Trump said as he addressed the cheering crowd at the new Pratt Industries plant, which was still under construction. He added, “Australia is one of our most important allies and trading partners with more than 65 billion dollars in trade between our nations last year.”

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Morrison-Ohio Trump visits Ohio factory with Australia's prime minister, touts economy Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b3e98f4a-757d-5fdc-a8b2-c1005ddd68ad article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Taxes

President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison shaking hands at Pratt Industries on Sunday in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

He added, “Unlike so many other nations, Australia upholds the principles of fair and reciprocal trade.”

People in Ohio crowded into the hot factory and chanted “USA” when the president talked about products displaying the words “Made in America.” The plant is expected to open in a couple of weeks and has offered jobs to veterans, which Trump highlighted as he addressed the crowd on Sunday.

“I am especially excited to announce that one in four workers at this plant is a veteran,” Trump said. The audience responded with cheers.

FIRST LADY MELANIA TRUMP UNVEILS WHITE HOUSE RESTORATION PROJECTS BEFORE STATE VISIT

Trump said, “Over the next decade, Pratt Industries is creating 5000 new jobs in the United States. This massive new investment is made possible by the historic tax cuts and tax credits that we signed into law.”

Trump had nothing but praise for the Australian prime minister, who also praised the U.S. president.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Morrison-Ohio-Pratt Trump visits Ohio factory with Australia's prime minister, touts economy Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b3e98f4a-757d-5fdc-a8b2-c1005ddd68ad article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Taxes

President Trump speaking as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, center, and Pratt Industries chairman Anthony Pratt watched during a factory tour Sunday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“The president and I are here today because we believe in jobs, we believe in the way jobs transform lives,” Morrison said, adding, “What we are celebrating here is jobs.”

He also pointed out America’s 3.7-percent unemployment rate, saying, “That is an amazing achievement, Mr. President, the lowest unemployment rate we have seen in the United States for a very, very long time.”

The president and first lady Melania Trump hosted Morrison and his wife, Jennifer, at a state dinner on Friday night, two days before the Ohio visit.

Earlier Sunday, Trump visited Texas and met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to highlight the growth of U.S. exports to India and billions of dollars spent by India on U.S. defense equipment. Neither mentioned trade tensions on Sunday.

Trump and Modi clasped hands as they walked across the stage in a packed NRG Stadium in Houston, sending an apparent message of unity between the world’s two largest democracies.

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The president also discussed border security on Sunday, an important campaign issue for Texas, which shares a border with Mexico.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Morrison-Ohio Trump visits Ohio factory with Australia's prime minister, touts economy Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b3e98f4a-757d-5fdc-a8b2-c1005ddd68ad article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Taxes   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Morrison-Ohio Trump visits Ohio factory with Australia's prime minister, touts economy Talia Kaplan fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/travel/regions/australia fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc b3e98f4a-757d-5fdc-a8b2-c1005ddd68ad article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Taxes

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Gary Shapiro: New trade pact with Canada and Mexico deserves quick congressional approval

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086157723001_6086155079001-vs Gary Shapiro: New trade pact with Canada and Mexico deserves quick congressional approval Gary Shapiro fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 881ba201-2e23-5e57-b1ea-8572e895acef /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

Congress is back, and while our leaders have a busy session ahead, they should prioritize passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Updates to NAFTA are overdue. The original agreement went into effect in 1994 – well before digital tools that shape how we shop, how we play and how we do business existed. Consumers expect to connect with content from anywhere in the globe in a matter of seconds, and companies expect to be able to reach across borders and manage supply chains with the touch of a button.

Our leaders couldn’t have foreseen these developments at the time, but failing to take them into account now would fail consumers and entrepreneurs.

BRAD BLAKEMAN: WHY IS CONGRESS HOLDING UP TRUMP’S MEXICO-CANADA TRADE AGREEMENT?

The USMCA includes key provisions for the new digital economy. These include prohibiting tariffs and duties on digital products; paring down restrictions on data flow, the transmission of data across borders; and prohibiting forced data localization – the technical name for when a country demands that foreign companies seeking to do business abide by their own laws on data flow.

All must work quickly and hard to move new NAFTA forward. The U.S. trade representative should work with Congress on outstanding questions including clarifying the auto content and value requirements.

Perhaps the most important provision, however, is Article 19.17. Modeled on Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act, it extends the commonsense provisions of that law to our trade partners. The article states that speakers – not the platforms they use – are liable for any illegal or inflammatory content. It sounds obvious enough – but without it, we wouldn’t have seen the huge growth of the U.S. technology industry over the decades since NAFTA.

According to the Consumer Technology Association, the U.S. has done well in promoting a culture of innovation, producing 133 unicorns – companies with a market value greater than $1 billion – between 2009 and 2018 alone. If platforms were liable for every inflammatory email, tweet or post sent via its channels, many of the services that enhance our daily lives wouldn’t exist.

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America is home to the world’s most dynamic Internet economy, and our online platforms are the frontrunners in business, communications and entertainment. Our political leaders need to ensure our Internet technology remains the technology of choice around the world. Thanks to the USMCA, we have a key opportunity to keep North America the best place in the world to develop talent and build companies.

Economic freedom in the U.S., Canada and Mexico has increased since the 1994 NAFTA, including higher per capita incomes, and regional trade among our three countries reached more than $1.1 trillion in 2016. But ratifying the new NAFTA is also a matter of principle. As a nation committed to being a beacon for the best and brightest, to creating a haven for innovation and ingenuity, it’s our duty to lead the way on free trade.

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Beyond the economic rationale, the new NAFTA will help our nation’s physical security by aligning us even more closely with our neighbors. We’re blessed by geography and proximity.

The United States has two oceans to our east and west, and two friendly countries immediately to our north and south. But we need to maintain that strong relationship with Canada and Mexico. This agreement and the partnerships it enables will deepen our friendship and our national security, and make our country safer.

Our congressional leaders should lean into that identity, harnessing it to ratify a framework that will secure prosperity and liberty for decades to come.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM GARY SHAPIRO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086157723001_6086155079001-vs Gary Shapiro: New trade pact with Canada and Mexico deserves quick congressional approval Gary Shapiro fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 881ba201-2e23-5e57-b1ea-8572e895acef /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086157723001_6086155079001-vs Gary Shapiro: New trade pact with Canada and Mexico deserves quick congressional approval Gary Shapiro fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world/global-economy fox-news/world fox-news/us/immigration/mexico fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 881ba201-2e23-5e57-b1ea-8572e895acef /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump claims that China will pay his tariffs are nonsense – Americans will pay

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6078015448001_6078016776001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump claims that China will pay his tariffs are nonsense – Americans will pay fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Andrew Napolitano 34eafcc6-df4c-53b4-9aef-6f3f4a6a43c3

Late last week, President Trump issued a tweet in which he purported to order American businesses to cease doing work with their employees and contract partners in China.

Trump claimed he was exercising presidential powers pursuant to what he contended was the national emergency surrounding the trading relationship between the United States and China.

Since he did not declare a national emergency, he did not notify Congress and give it the opportunity to ratify or reject his executive orders. In fact, he didn’t even sign any executive orders on this.

GEN. KEANE: CHINA ‘CLEARLY OUR NO. 1 THREAT OUT THERE’

He merely ordered American businesses in a tweet to cease all commercial activities with anyone in China. It appears that no American company took him seriously and none complied. Can he legally do this?

Here is the backstory.

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Since his election as president, Trump has been fixated on the balance of trade between the U.S. and China. The balance of trade is the difference in total value annually between exports and imports.

Thus, since American businesses and consumers purchase more goods and services from Chinese businesses than American businesses sell to the Chinese, the U.S. has a deficit balance of trade with China and China has a surplus balance of trade with the U.S.

Stated differently, more goods made or assembled in China are attractive to American consumers and investors than goods produced here are attractive to Chinese investors and consumers. As well, investors from China are quite willing to finance goods made and assembled there to keep their cost low and their attractiveness to American consumers high.

All of this has come about by the free choices of American investors and consumers. Is this trade imbalance detrimental to the American economy? In a word: NoTariffs are paid by the end-user – in this case, American consumers and investors whenever we buy a product that originated wholly or in part in China.

But Trump has been willing to engage in the type of central economic planning that he once condemned by making it more costly for Chinese businesses to sell goods to their American counterparts and American consumers. And he has done so by imposing tariffs upon American purchasers.

A tariff is a sales tax that, because it has not been enacted by Congress, as the Constitution requires of all federal taxes, is unconstitutional.

Trump has argued that tariffs on Chinese goods sold in America have forced the Chinese government to pay the equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury.

This is nonsense. Tariffs are paid by the end-user – in this case, American consumers and investors whenever we buy a product that originated wholly or in part in China.

And, of course, China has retaliated against American businesses by imposing its own tariffs on American products, most notably agricultural goods produced by Midwestern farmers. Many of those farmers have lost their Chinese buyers for certain 2019 growing seasons.

Trump claims that what he wants are more favorable trading terms between American and Chinese businesses, and his tariffs and other “orders” are simply a means of getting there.

The president does have a real argument that Chinese domestic subsidies and currency manipulation have put Chinese producers at an artificially unfair advantage over their American competitors.

So what? Why shouldn’t American consumers be able to take advantage of that? His tariffs are a remedy worse than the disease; the little guy gets hurt the most, often without recourse.

Now, back to Trump’s order for American businesses to cease doing business in China. The president claims the authority to issue such an order comes from emergency powers granted by law to President Jimmy Carter in 1977, which he used to address the truly dangerous Iran hostage crisis by using economic rather than military tools.

Carter wanted to prohibit American businesses from selling certain goods to businesses in Iran to coerce the government into releasing the American hostages.

But that law – the International Emergency Economic Powers Act – requires the existence of a true emergency in the U.S. caused by a foreign power. The courts have defined “emergency” as the sudden, imminent onset of harm to the lives or property of Americans that cannot be addressed by the exercise of ordinary government means.

That is hardly the case here. Here, we have a sophomoric boasting contest between Trump and President Xi Jinping as to which country has a stronger economy, and they both think they can win that contest by using government to interfere with otherwise free economic choices.

Here, we have a sophomoric boasting contest between Trump and President Xi Jinping as to which country has a stronger economy, and they both think they can win that contest by using government to interfere with otherwise free economic choices. 

Trump himself has demonstrated the ability to shake up domestic and foreign markets using ordinary government means. Now he claims he has the right to exercise emergency powers to address a non-emergency that he caused.

The imbalance of trade is not only a nonemergency; it is also a nonissue to anyone who understands Economics 101. But even to those who don’t, they will suffer at Trump’s hands when the products they buy – smartphones, household electronics, clothing, toys – suddenly cost 30 percent more than two years ago.

Where does this leave us?

We are witness again to a president who chooses to take the law into his own hands and who somehow thinks that central economic planning will enhance prosperity in America. He should know better.

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The lessons learned from Eastern European government central planning in the last century demonstrate that economic planning only benefits the planners.

Freedom to choose products and investments produces more prosperity than government planning.

Economic freedoms – to contract, to invest, to buy and to sell – are guaranteed by the Constitution and once were protected from interference by the government.

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But constitutional guarantees are only as reliable as is the fidelity to upholding them of those in whose hands we have entrusted the Constitution for safekeeping.

Are our constitutional guarantees safe in Trump’s hands?

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6078015448001_6078016776001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump claims that China will pay his tariffs are nonsense – Americans will pay fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Andrew Napolitano 34eafcc6-df4c-53b4-9aef-6f3f4a6a43c3   Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6078015448001_6078016776001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump claims that China will pay his tariffs are nonsense – Americans will pay fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world fox-news/us/economy fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Andrew Napolitano 34eafcc6-df4c-53b4-9aef-6f3f4a6a43c3

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Free Beacon editor in chief: Trump is asking China to ‘pay a price’ it can’t afford

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077313171001_6077310527001-vs Free Beacon editor in chief: Trump is asking China to 'pay a price' it can't afford Victor Garcia fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fad48c2f-a792-52a4-9a49-d20bef0576d7 article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

The trade war with China isn’t ending i the near term, according to Washington Free Beacon Editor in Chief Matthew Continetti.

“I don’t think anyone should be optimistic, Bret, that the trade war will end anytime soon,” Continetti said on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, investors wrestled with mixed headlines over the status of calls and talks between the U.S. and China in what’s become an increasingly costly trade war.

WHITE HOUSE: TRUMP’S ‘SECOND THOUGHTS’ ON CHINA TRADE WAR ‘GREATLY MISINTERPRETED’

Continetti said the Chinese were unable to pay the “price” that President Trump was seeking.

“President Trump is asking the Chinese to pay a price they just can’t pay and that is liberalizing their economy, ending the state-owned enterprises, ending the forced technology transfer, ending the nontariff trade barriers that China has,” Continetti said. “And, if China were to do that, then they would threaten” the Communist Party’s control.

The Free Beacon chief also credited the president for forcing Washington to address China and issues with power in Silicon Valley.

“I think on two big issues, the rise of China and also the concentration of power in Silicon Valley, President Trump has kind of forced the conversation and forced Washington to … pay attention,” Continetti said.

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Fox News’ Bret Baier and Fox Business Network’s Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077313171001_6077310527001-vs Free Beacon editor in chief: Trump is asking China to 'pay a price' it can't afford Victor Garcia fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fad48c2f-a792-52a4-9a49-d20bef0576d7 article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6077313171001_6077310527001-vs Free Beacon editor in chief: Trump is asking China to 'pay a price' it can't afford Victor Garcia fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fad48c2f-a792-52a4-9a49-d20bef0576d7 article /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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Trump warns China against ‘another Tiananmen Square,’ says Tim Cook made ‘compelling’ tariff case

President Trump told reporters on Sunday that Apple CEO Tim Cook privately made a “very compelling argument” that the administration’s tariffs on Chinese-assembled goods have made an unfair impact on the California-based tech giant, because its chief rival, Samsung, has conducted most of its manufacturing in South Korea and did not have to pay the levy.

The president also issued a stern warning to China, saying there might not be an end to the trade war if the government resorts to “violence” to crush demonstrators in Hong Kong.

Trump announced last week he would delay major new tariffs on China for three months, and his latest comments hinted that more concessions may be forthcoming. The new ten-percent tariffs had been slated to go into effect Sept. 1, and would have affected Apple’s signature iPhones.

“I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook,” Trump said at an airport in New Jersey, on his way back to the White House. “I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And, one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea.”

Trump continued: “It’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs if they’re competing with a very good company that’s not. I said, ‘How good a competitor?’ He said they’re a very good competitor. … I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I’m thinking about it.”

Earlier in the day, Trump had sounded a note of optimism on China, tweeting, “We are doing very well with China, and talking!”

TRUMP SUGGESTS ‘PERSONAL’ MEETING WITH CHINESE LEADER ON HONG KONG PROTESTS

At the airport though, the president took a tougher stance. He warned that a trade deal would not be possible if the Chinese government used force to crack down on demonstrators in Hong Kong, who largely have been protesting against an extradition bill proposed by Hong Kong’s government that would permit certain extraditions to mainland China.

“I think it’d be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it’s another Tiananmen Square,” Trump said. “I think it’s a very hard thing to do if there’s violence.”

The president also rebuffed weekend reports that the U.S. was open to doing business with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The U.S. had placed the company an export blacklist in June citing national security concerns amid worries that it’s worked with Chinese spy networks.

Reuters and The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House was planning to announce on Monday a 90-day extension to a license allowing Huawei to provide service for U.S. customers. The temporary extension would be intended to allow the company to fulfill orders placed prior to the blacklist taking effect.

“I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat,” Trump told reporters. “We’ll see what happens. I’m making a decision tomorrow.”

Those remarks echoed Trump’s comments at the White House last week.

Westlake Legal Group AP19230567660913 Trump warns China against 'another Tiananmen Square,' says Tim Cook made 'compelling' tariff case Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3a1ce86-4b38-51f9-8679-e17d99d6d854 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

A demonstrator holding up a sign reading “Back away slowly” to encourage other demonstrators to leave, near the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong on Sunday. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

“We are not going to do business with Huawei,” Trump said at the time. “And, I really made the decision. It’s much simpler not doing any business with Huawei. … That doesn’t mean we won’t agree to something if and when we make a trade deal.”

NO MORE ‘BIBLE TAX’: TRUMP EXEMPTS RELIGIOUS ITEMS FROM TARIFFS

But, the president’s messaging has not always been consistent on the matter. In June, after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump had suggested that “we will keep selling” to Huawei, prompting administration officials to walk back the suggestion.

Throughout, Apple has focused its political capital on preserving its profit margins. In June, the company wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to urge the administration not to pursue tariffs against China.

“The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and AppleTV, as well as the parts and batteries used to repair products in the United States,” Apple said.

“U.S. tariffs on Apple’s products would result in a reduction of Apple’s U.S. economic contribution,” the company continued. “U.S. tariffs would also weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness. The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the U.S. market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs.”

In a public-facing news release Thursday, ahead of Cook’s dinner with Trump, Apple highlighted its growing investments in the U.S. economy.

“A significant amount of the jobs Apple supports in the US are found in the booming app economy, which is currently responsible for 1.9 million American jobs — an increase of 325,000 in the last two and a half years,” Apple wrote in the release.

The company noted that it directly “employs 90,000 employees in all 50 states, putting the company on track to create 20,000 new jobs across the US by 2023.”

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For his part, Trump seemed receptive to the overtures even before his latest face-to-face with Apple’s CEO.

“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple. They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!” Trump tweeted on Friday night from Bedminster, New Jersey, where the two also dined last August.

Westlake Legal Group AP19230761768606 Trump warns China against 'another Tiananmen Square,' says Tim Cook made 'compelling' tariff case Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3a1ce86-4b38-51f9-8679-e17d99d6d854 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade   Westlake Legal Group AP19230761768606 Trump warns China against 'another Tiananmen Square,' says Tim Cook made 'compelling' tariff case Gregg Re fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a3a1ce86-4b38-51f9-8679-e17d99d6d854 /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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Deroy Murdock: US-UK pact could revive free trade, as US-China talks meander

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073415623001_6073420982001-vs Deroy Murdock: US-UK pact could revive free trade, as US-China talks meander National Review fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Deroy Murdock article a5889f40-6b46-5869-9fa3-bf134b13c6ee /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

The uncertainty surrounding U.S.-China trade talks is steering financial markets up and down more peaks and valleys than a drive through the Himalayas. Brighter, timelier prospects for free trade might lie in the hands of two husky, showy New York natives with bold blond hair and tame blue suits: U.S. President Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The United Kingdom’s new leader was born — believe it or not — in Manhattan. From his early days on the Hudson, he now governs on the Thames. As a conservative nationalist, his fervent support of Brexit parallels Trump’s skepticism about large, multilateral economic institutions. The two executives are temperamental cousins who resemble brothers and seem like pals.

“He’s a good guy. He’s a friend of mine. I think we’re going to have a great relationship,” President Trump told journalists on July 26. “Boris is going to be a great prime minister,” Trump added. “He has what it takes. They needed him for a long time.”

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These political and personal factors bode well for an Anglo-American free-trade pact. Optimists speak of concluding an accord that would commence on Nov.1, the day after the U.K. will leave the European Union, as Johnson promises — an amicable exit, if possible, otherwise through a divorce as frightful as Halloween itself.

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“I’m sure a new free-trade agreement, with Boris and your excellent ambassador in London, Woody Johnson, pushing it, will come quickly,” predicts Lord Borwick of Hawkshead, a Conservative member of the House of Lords and frequent visitor to America. He expects that U.S. ranchers and farmers will savor the result.

“European rules prohibit the importation of good American beef, but I’ve never seen an English Beefeater refuse a Texan steak in the States,” Lord Borwick tells me. “Similarly, the Europeans prohibit American chickens because they are washed in chlorinated water, even though we wash our children in chlorinated water in every British swimming pool, and I never have seen an English tourist refuse to enter a Kentucky Fried Chicken shop.”

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Lord Borwick hopes an Anglo-American bargain remains simple. He says: “If we make anything legal in the States legal in the U.K., and vice versa, as Dan Hannan MEP has proposed before, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R., Texas has proposed for U.S. pharmaceuticals, then we have a free-trade agreement that can be summarized in one sentence that everyone can understand.”

Daniel Hannan, a Tory member of the European Parliament, is considered the Father of Brexit. Like Sen. Ted Cruz, he is a thoughtful and magnificently eloquent advocate of conservative ideas. Hannan argues that both sides should “emphasize the open nature of a U.S.-U.K. deal, to underline that it is about mutual recognition instead of standardization. This mutual recognition should apply to goods, services, and professional qualifications.”

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073415623001_6073420982001-vs Deroy Murdock: US-UK pact could revive free trade, as US-China talks meander National Review fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Deroy Murdock article a5889f40-6b46-5869-9fa3-bf134b13c6ee /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6073415623001_6073420982001-vs Deroy Murdock: US-UK pact could revive free trade, as US-China talks meander National Review fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Deroy Murdock article a5889f40-6b46-5869-9fa3-bf134b13c6ee /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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$3.4M in fake Gucci, Hermes, Nike items seized at LA airport, CBP says

Thousands of counterfeit luxury items such as fake Gucci belts, Hermes handbags and Fendi shorts were recently seized at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday.

The 5,300 products, if genuine, would have been worth more than $3.4 million, authorities said.

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Westlake Legal Group Fake-Hermes-bag $3.4M in fake Gucci, Hermes, Nike items seized at LA airport, CBP says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc article 91e0f0ef-d9bd-5497-9584-a400c7da9215

A counterfeit Hermes bag seized at LAX. (CBP Los Angeles)

The goods were flown in from Hong Kong, CBP said in a news release. The items included “1,242 counterfeit Gucci belts, 678 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes, 531 counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags, 500 counterfeit Samsung adapters, 502 counterfeit Gucci fanny packs, 230 counterfeit Hermes handbags, 192 counterfeit Casio Shock watches, 144 counterfeit Ferragamo belts, 100 counterfeit Versace belts and 119 counterfeit Fendi shorts.”

“The American public should be aware that buying a counterfeit product is a lose-lose proposition, because the money they paid often funds criminal enterprises,” LAX’s CBP Port Director Donald R. Kusser said.

“The American public should be aware that buying a counterfeit product is a lose-lose proposition, because the money they paid often funds criminal enterprises.” 

— Donald R. Kusser, CBP Port Director at LAX

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“In addition, buyers get a substandard low-quality product, containing unknown chemicals and likely produced under inhumane conditions,” he added.

The CBP said it has seized 33,810 shipments of items that violated intellectual property rights during fiscal year 2018, and their approximate value — had they been real — would have been $1.4 billion.

CBP SAYS AGENTS ARREST CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER, SEIZE 8.5 POUNDS OF HEROIN AT SAN DIEGO BORDER

The seized items with the highest MSRP, or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, were jewelry and watches, with an estimated value of more than $618 million had the products been genuine, according to CBP data. Those items also represented 44 percent of total seizures. Fake wallets and handbags followed, with seizures constituting an estimated value of more than $226 million.

Accessories and apparel were seized the most often – 6,098 times constituting 18 percent of all seizures, CBP data showed.

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Consumers were advised to shop with caution and to report any suspected illegal activity or trade fraud by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT or by using the CBP’s online reporting system.

Westlake Legal Group Fake-Gucci_CBP $3.4M in fake Gucci, Hermes, Nike items seized at LA airport, CBP says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc article 91e0f0ef-d9bd-5497-9584-a400c7da9215   Westlake Legal Group Fake-Gucci_CBP $3.4M in fake Gucci, Hermes, Nike items seized at LA airport, CBP says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/trade fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/economy/consumerism fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc article 91e0f0ef-d9bd-5497-9584-a400c7da9215

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Andy Puzder: Trump tariffs on China are needed – he knows surrender isn’t a winning negotiating strategy

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a6eae689aa604d36bc80f4028725706d Andy Puzder: Trump tariffs on China are needed – he knows surrender isn’t a winning negotiating strategy fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc bfc73b1e-8986-5830-a960-ca477d486bdb article Andy Puzder /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

President Trump was right to announce Thursday that he plans to impose 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports from China Sept. 1, on top of the 25 percent tariffs he imposed earlier on $250 billion in products from China.

It should come as no surprise that the president took this action to give the U.S. more leverage against our most powerful adversary. Trump has been warning China he would impose more tariffs as he tried to bend the iron will of the world’s worst trade cheater.

Trump’s warnings would be meaningless if he failed to follow through when China refused to make reasonable compromises to reach a trade deal. The new tariffs were predictable and are both measured and necessary.

TRUMP ANNOUNCES CHINA TARIFFS ON ANOTHER $300B WORTH OF GOODS

Trump could have imposed the new round of tariffs earlier, but he held off as a show of goodwill after a personal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the recent G-20 summit.

Unfortunately, China is once again failing to live up to the promises it made at the G-20 summit to purchase additional American agricultural products. So Trump is living up to his promise by going through with the tariff increase.

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While he genuinely wants to reach a deal with Xi, Trump isn’t in any hurry. He knows that China responds to pressure – and only to pressure.

After all, Trump’s strategic counter-tariffs have already brought China to the negotiating table, despite the country’s obvious reluctance to change its trade policies. 

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While Trump is willing to sign a fair trade agreement with China, Beijing has been reluctant to end its corrupt and abusive trade practices, which have been hurting U.S. workers and businesses for decades.

Now China appears to be doing all it can to stall the bilateral negotiations in hopes that Trump will be defeated in his reelection bid next year and replaced by a Democrat who will employ less aggressive – and less effective – negotiating tactics.

The Chinese have certainly watched the recent Democratic presidential candidate debates and realize they would have an easier time preserving their unfair trading practices if a Democrat were in the White House. 

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg argued in a debate that China’s “fundamental economic model isn’t going to change because of some tariffs.”

The Chinese have certainly watched the recent Democratic presidential candidate debates and realize they would have an easier time preserving their unfair trading practices if a Democrat were in the White House. 

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado acknowledged that Trump has been right to “push back on China, but he’s done it in completely the wrong way.”

Businessman Andrew Yang argued that “tariffs and the trade war are just punishing businesses and producers and workers on both sides.” 

Former Vice President Joe Biden, of course, harkens back to the Obama-Biden administration when President Barack Obama – unable to get China to cease its mercantilist trade policies – asked what “magic wand” presidential candidate Trump had to negotiate better trade deals. 

There’s nothing magic about tariffs. The magic lies in having a president with the political courage to use them.   

It’s hard to blame President Xi for holding out hope, no matter how forlorn, that one of the 20 Democrats on the debate stage this week will be sitting across the negotiating table from him in 2021. 

But even assuming the increasingly unlikely scenario where China would face a new and less skilled or determined negotiator after the 2020 election, the question is whether it’s in China’s best interests to risk the wait.

Trump has made it clear that his stance will only harden after the election. At this point, it’s certainly obvious to the Chinese that he keeps his promises – even in the face of political risks.

While a bilateral trade deal with China remains the ultimate goal, America doesn’t need to rush into an unbalanced agreement just for the sake of ending trade tensions. We’re in a far stronger position to wait out this negotiation than China. 

China’s economy is already slumping under the weight of the existing tariffs – a situation that the latest hike will surely exacerbate. 

Here in the U.S. – despite claims that tariffs would end the current economic recovery and increase consumer costs – our economy remains the envy of the world. Inflation is in check, unemployment is near a half-century low, wages are surging and economic growth is continuing to beat expectations. 

A skilled negotiator like President Trump knows that you should never rush into a deal, even if the political benefits are compelling. As a nation, we would eventually pay the price for a deal driven by politics rather than substance. 

The president has made it clear that he wants a trade deal with China – but it has to be a fair deal. He tweeted: “We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!”

Trump understands that surrender is not a winning negotiating strategy. So he’s not going to give in to unreasonable and unfair Chinese demands just to say he got a trade deal. As he has pointed out, a bad deal is worse than no deal at all.

The president’s strategy of effectively employing tariffs – despite criticism – has worked in the past and will work again. Earlier this summer, he successfully convinced Mexico to help the U.S. stop the flow of illegal immigration from Central America by threatening to implement a tariff on imports.  

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Trump has shown resolve tempered by restraint. He warned China that these tariffs were coming, he resisted the urge to raise them even further despite China’s pattern of deception, and he waited to implement them until it was absolutely necessary. But it was China who forced the imposition of additional tariffs by trying to renegotiate concessions it had made earlier.

The question is when China’s leaders will realize that it’s in their best interests, not to mention the best interests of the Chinese people, to make a deal now.

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Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a6eae689aa604d36bc80f4028725706d Andy Puzder: Trump tariffs on China are needed – he knows surrender isn’t a winning negotiating strategy fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc bfc73b1e-8986-5830-a960-ca477d486bdb article Andy Puzder /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a6eae689aa604d36bc80f4028725706d Andy Puzder: Trump tariffs on China are needed – he knows surrender isn’t a winning negotiating strategy fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/world fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc bfc73b1e-8986-5830-a960-ca477d486bdb article Andy Puzder /FOX NEWS/WORLD/GLOBAL ECONOMY/Trade

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Andy Puzder: Hong Kong protesters are fighting for their freedom — They deserve US support

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6051340446001_6051342330001-vs Andy Puzder: Hong Kong protesters are fighting for their freedom -- They deserve US support fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c4b72889-51d7-5b92-899b-829dcdee3427 article Andy Puzder

While talks Saturday between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan focused on resolving trade disputes, there is another major issue dividing our two countries: the fight for freedom by the people of Hong Kong.

We don’t know what, if anything, Trump and Xi said about Hong Kong. But the fate of the former British colony and the rights of its citizens are important and should be of concern to Americans and free people everywhere.

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Protesters claim nearly 2 million people have joined their ranks to stage demonstrations and marches against a controversial extradition bill, while Hong Kong police estimated peak turnout of protesters was 338,000.

The protests have being going on for weeks, as the people of Hong Kong have tried desperately to stop their semi-autonomous democratic government from succumbing to Beijing’s pressure and passing deeply unpopular extradition legislation.

The extradition bill would nullify the civil liberties and criminal justice protections that Hong Kongers enjoy. It could lead to the end of Hong Kong’s autonomy from mainland China, which is ruled by the heavy hand of the Communist Party.

In addition to demonstrating outside the Hong Kong consulates of all the G20 powers, the anti-extradition protesters were on the ground in Osaka Japan during the summit, making the issue of Hong Kong’s fate impossible to ignore.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters were right to raise their grievances at the summit that was focused on trade and economics. Trade, geopolitics and human rights are deeply interrelated. Hong Kong punches well above it weight both economically and with respect to freedom.

The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Hong Kong’s capitalist economy as the freest in the world. China’s essentially state-run economy, operating under a Communist dictatorship, ranks a dismal No. 100 on the freedom index.

Demonstrating the benefits of economic freedom, the gross domestic product per person in Hong Kong last year was $49,000 – while mainland China lagged far behind at only $10,000.

Hong Kong is a bastion of freedom and prosperity on the doorstep of a totalitarian giant, standing as a prominent example of what economic freedom can do.

If Chinese leaders were truly interested in acting in the best interests of their people and stimulating economic growth and prosperity they would make China more like Hong Kong. Instead, they want to bring their iron-fisted rule to Hong Kong and make it more like the rest of China.

Not surprisingly, Beijing used its veto power to keep any discussion of the Hong Kong protests off the G20 summit agenda.

“We will not allow the G20 to discuss the Hong Kong issue,” China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs told reporters Monday. That’s unfortunate. It’s a discussion China will find difficult to avoid.

As things stand, the special autonomy Hong Kong enjoys makes it exempt from the counter-tariffs that President Trump has imposed on the Chinese mainland, as well as export restrictions limiting advanced technology that China can buy from the U.S.

This arrangement benefits everyone. Hong Kong serves as a gateway between the West and China, where companies from both systems can trade and collaborate. It’s a relationship and a status well worth protecting from totalitarian excesses.

The U.S. Congress is considering bipartisan legislation titled the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 that would use trade as leverage to exert pressure on the Chinese government to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy, democracy, and traditions of law and justice.

One of the stated purposes of the legislation is “to ensure that all residents of Hong Kong are afforded freedom from arbitrary or unlawful arrest, detention, or imprisonment.”

Seems pretty reasonable.

The U.S. legislation would require China to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy to preserve the favorable trading status Hong Kong has with America. Congress should pass it expeditiously.

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Economic freedom permeates every facet of world power and that is why the eyes of the world were on Presidents Trump and Xi in Osaka.

Trump is making far more progress on the trade front that his critics imagined he could. Hopefully, protecting those in Hong Kong fighting for their liberty will be a part of whatever trade deal Trump ultimately achieves.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6051340446001_6051342330001-vs Andy Puzder: Hong Kong protesters are fighting for their freedom -- They deserve US support fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c4b72889-51d7-5b92-899b-829dcdee3427 article Andy Puzder   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6051340446001_6051342330001-vs Andy Puzder: Hong Kong protesters are fighting for their freedom -- They deserve US support fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/trade fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c4b72889-51d7-5b92-899b-829dcdee3427 article Andy Puzder

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