News

Politics & Policy

Rubio Calls for a ‘Pro-American Industrial Policy’ to Challenge China in Followup to ‘Common Good Capitalism’ Speech

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) on Capitol Hill, December 13, 2018 (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Senator Marco Rubio continued his recent crusade against market “fundamentalism” in a Tuesday speech at the National Defense University, positing a “call for a 21st century pro-American industrial policy” in the face of a rising China.

“The market may say short-term profits justify adhering to the requirements China places on our companies. But policymakers must take into account that long-term surrendering our productive capacity to China is reckless,” Rubio stated.

He went on to say that “this isn’t a call to socialism or a rejection of capitalism; it’s a call to policymakers to remember that the national interest, not economic growth, is our central obligation.”

In previewing the speech, Rubio told the Washington Examiner that he is not proposing a shift away from a market economy, and that his focus is broader than simple economic policy. The Examiner also reported that a draft of the speech did not lay out specific measures to address the China threat, save for Rubio’s bill to boost the U.S. rare-earth minerals industry.

“There are moments in which the market produces an efficient outcome that doesn’t reflect our national interest, and in those moments, it is the job of policymakers to ensure the national interest is protected,” Rubio said.

During the speech, Rubio decried the current economic debate as offering “an archaic and false choice.”

“The left wants more government programs, and more taxes on everything, and everyone to pay for them — often advocating incentives and punishments on private industry that stoke identity politics and culture wars, but ignore and even undermine our national security and job creation,” Rubio said. “The market fundamentalists on the right want more record-setting days in the stock market above all else. Even if it means our dependence on and losses to China continue expanding to American industries higher up the value chain.”

Last month, the Florida Republican referenced the rise of China in a speech on “common good capitalism” at the Catholic University of America, saying “as Robert F. Kennedy did in 1968, we must once again accept the indivisible tie between culture and economics.”

Rubio’s recent philosophical shift has sparked a debate over economics in conservative circles, with critics arguing that the senator misunderstands the role of the federal government, while proponents claim that Rubio correctly identifies the need for public policy to make value judgements in markets.

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More