For almost 30 years, China has been carefully maneuvering to become the most powerful economy on the planet. Through a series of equally strategic and devious economic tactics such as trade and currency manipulation, the Chinese have enriched themselves at the expense of other nations — namely, the United States.
They have been getting away with it for years, but that is about to change. Today, they are up against an unlikely president who happens to be unapologetic about putting America first and unafraid of fighting for our workers.
Over the past couple of months, we have looked on as President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping both upped the stakes of ongoing trade negotiations. At times, it has seemed that we are lilting toward an all-out trade war. With both countries placing tariffs on imported goods to pressure one another, economists, analysts and companies have been on edge. However, we are now beginning to see exciting progress. It appears that President Trump's legendary negotiation is bearing fruit.
At the recent G-20 Summit, announcements were made that the U.S. and Chinese governments had come to an agreement in the trade negotiation process. Both countries have agreed to temporarily refrain from increasing tariffs or applying new ones — for the next three months.
Both governments, as well as the global financial markets, have heralded this as a success. True, the U.S. and China working together to cement fair and lucrative trade practices is a great first step, but it provides even more cause to celebrate because it shows that Trump's trade strategy is working.
For decades, China has reaped the benefits of its actions being unchallenged in trade negotiation for almost 30 years. They are learning, for the first time in a very long time, that the United States does not exist to serve their economic interests and help them accomplish their goal of superseding the United States as the globe's principal economic superpower. They are hopefully coming to realize that our president is shrewd and tough and that he will never back down when it comes to making sure America gets the best possible deals.
Trump has been reinforcing this theme publicly since the mid-1980s, when he gained insight into the inner workings of the international business stage. It is with this knowledge that he has been able to confront Chinese trade practices that harm the United States.
One of the most notorious ways in which China has abused the United States is through its use of currency manipulation. China's practice of devaluing its currency has made it king of exports and manufacturing. Businesses simply cannot be competitive in the market without taking advantage of low-cost manufacturing.
Ultimately, this creates a situation in which the United States has lost millions of manufacturing jobs. In human terms, we are talking about millions of families without a source of income, as well as untold damage to the American economy. But it doesn't stop there.
Machiavellian to its core, China uses the money it gains through economic manipulation to then purchase U.S. treasury bonds. Our own government thus becomes further locked into an artificial dependency on Chinese manufacturing. Perhaps this explains the hesitancy of former presidents to address this open wound.
Trump understands that there is no more running away from this issue. The can had been kicked down the road, but it finally hit a wall. The United States can either tackle this challenge on its own terms, before it becomes a crisis, or our entire economy will eventually collapse on itself — to the benefit of the Chinese government.
When it comes to strengthening America's economy, Trump deserves much credit. He promised to always put the United States first, and that is what he has done. He swore to renegotiate one-sided trade deals that cost us millions of jobs and billions of dollars.
Confrontation often produces feelings of discomfort and uncertainty, but the benefits of getting a problem out into the open and actually solving it are tough to measure. To succeed well into the next century, the United States must get its financial house in order and end its self-defeating dependency on Chinese manufacturing.
In President Trump, we have a bold leader who is pushing back hard against China and is putting America back on a true path toward prosperity.
To find out more about Armstrong Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.