Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) backed President Donald Trump‘s latest actions in the developing trade war with China.
Following the meeting between Trump and Chinese officials, the president implemented a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. This increase was on top of the 10% percent tariff already in place by the Trump administration.
The president argued that China has been taking advantage of the United States and can make the tariffs go away if they meet Trump half-way on negotiations that would protect U.S. intellectual property and enforce other fair trade policies.
Many Republicans back the president, but not everyone supports his tariff policy because of the direct costs to U.S. consumers and manufacturers. This fear of increased prices on imported goods was witnessed in the stock market Monday morning as the Dow dropped more than 500 points in response to China’s counter-tariffs.
Although Gingrich understands that U.S. consumers may not be thrilled about footing the bill for these tariffs, the former speaker thinks the pain will only be momentary. During an interview with Maria Bartiromo, Gingrich explained why he thinks China will fold on the trade war with Trump.
He responded to claims that China will just wait until a new president is in office by noting that he doesn’t believe they can afford to wait that long.
“I think the Chinese are caught in a real box because, frankly, even if you think Trump’s not going to be reelected — and I personally think he’s going to be reelected — but even if you thought he wasn’t, you’re talking about January of 2021. Well, their economy is not going to take the battering that Trump can deliver if they refuse to negotiate.”
Gingrich claimed that the U.S. has a “huge advantage” in the negotiations with China because the Chinese economy relies on American buyers, but the U.S. economy doesn’t rely on Chinese sellers.
“We don’t need the sale, the Chinese do,” said Gingrich, later adding:
“We’ve had a very one-sided relationship. They’ve used Intelectual property theft, they’ve taken enormous advantage. They have a closed market. They don’t allow many of our high-tech companies to compete. They subsidize in many ways. And so, the Chinese are faced with a real crisis because we’re telling them we’re going to change the rules of the game that have grotesquly favored you. […] China got to be this big, and this wealthy because all the rules of the game favored them and we tolerated behavior that’s intolerable.”
While it isn’t clear how long the tariffs will be in place, Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow noted that Trump and Chinese officials will likely meet again in June to continue negotiations.