The United States is facing an unprecedented public health and economic crisis in the fight to contain the deadly COVID-19 virus. But stunningly, some special interests in Washington don't seem to have gotten the message.
Rather than focus on things like stopping the spread of the virus and helping Americans devastated by shutdowns, these special interest groups want to help China's authoritarian regime.
China's government officials have publicly said that while much of the world is coping with the coronavirus, they plan to seize the opportunity to grow China's global power. And a handful of D.C. groups are working overtime to help China achieve this goal by calling for weakened trade enforcement measures, including the removal of tariffs on key imports.
This would be a major mistake, and one that would yield no economic benefit for Americans at such a critical time. Instead, it would invite a surge of Chinese imports that will lead to mass layoffs in American factories, and remove key leverage the U.S. has over China in negotiations, both now and in the future.
This cannot happen. Tell your Members of Congress to focus on mitigating COVID-19 and providing support to the millions of Americans facing economic devastation because of this crisis – not going out of the way to help China's government.
To whom it may concern:
As you work on legislation to help the United States navigate the current COVID-19 crisis, I encourage you to prioritize public health measures and fiscal stimulus to help those most impacted by this unprecedented situation. I also hope you will dismiss misguided calls to weaken trade enforcement, which remains a key defense against China's predatory practices and global overcapacity of steel, aluminum and other products.
This crisis has made clear that America must begin strengthening areas of our industrial base where we rely too much on China and other countries. It is important that our country be able to independently produce the materials and products needed to keep us healthy and safe. This includes pharmaceuticals and medical supplies needed to respond in emergencies and steel and aluminum needed to build our critical infrastructure.
Now is not the time to double down on imports from China. Despite the coronavirus economic slowdown, China and other countries continue making too much steel, aluminum, and other goods. There are huge stockpiles of excess production waiting to flood into our market. But if you weaken our stance on trade, the excess products will flood our market, leading to U.S. plant closures, layoffs of American workers, and a rapid deterioration of our national security production capabilities.
Please oppose any "general tariff" relief measures that will be counterproductive and exacerbate the already weakened state of American manufacturing. Instead, work on helping the vulnerable Americans who need help right now, and invest in American-made roads, bridges, and water systems to help the United States recover economically from this crisis.
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