Robert Lighthizer Is Not Optimistic
The former U.S. trade representative tells TAC that the Biden administration will make all the wrong moves on global economy.
How does former U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer see the prospects for trade under Joe Biden?
“I sense Biden will drift away from the two major trade principles of the Trump administration,” Lighthizer told TAC. “Those two principles were China skepticism and a worker-oriented trade policy.”
“We will be back to talking about ‘dialogue’ again. Whenever the Chinese hear that word, they know we are stupid Americans. That is how they translate the word ‘dialogue.’”
Beijing leadership’s game is always to procrastinate, to engage in talks about talks in the sure knowledge that they will outlast their American counterparts. “The Chinese are masterful at manipulating,” he says.
In Lighthizer’s view, there is no alternative to building a comprehensive wall of tariffs like that of America’s best years in the Gilded Age and the 1950s. He adds that the dollar is greatly overpriced on foreign exchange markets.
Looking back on his own record as U.S. trade representative, he highlighted his achievements. “We imposed $370 billion of tariffs and went after the WTO. We changed the paradigm of China not only for the United States but for the world.”
“We reoriented the U.S. economy towards working people. The Democrats are bicoastal, supported by the tech elite in the west and financial manipulators in New York,” Lighthizer explained. “They have a stake in doing everything the wrong way. If you look at their contributions by state, these are not reflective of the country, not representative.”
“The Republicans are now the party of the working people,” he concluded.
Eamonn Fingleton is the author of In the Jaws of the Dragon: America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony.