Catching a bit of North Carolina television, Scott Lincicome notices Democrat Cal Cunningham pledging to “fight a war” against “unfair trade deals with China.”
Cunningham hopes to be the Democratic nominee against Sen. Richard Burr.
There’s one rather big problem with this big promise: the United States has no trade “deals” with China, and we have no plans to enter into any such agreements. Indeed, China is one of the top targets of U.S. trade protection (through trade remedies proceedings), and our current president has imposed prohibitive tariffs on Chinese tires and routinely criticizes the country’s currency policies. The only thing even remotely close to a “trade deal with China” would, I guess, be the Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) legislation passed back in 2000 to cement China’s accession to the WTO (and to give the US the benefits of China’s new WTO market access commitments). But PNTR was a unilateral U.S. action, not an “agreement with China.”