WASHINGTON — On the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.S., the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is urging President Trump to go forward with the tough trade stance he promised during his 2016 campaign.
"We urge you to deliver on your campaign promises to rebalance the one-sided trade relationship with China," AAM President Scott Paul wrote in his April 5 letter to Trump.
"When you sit down with (Mr. Xi) this week, U.S. companies and American workers will be anxiously watching to see whether you will take a new and results-oriented approach to China."
Ever since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, U.S. trade policies mostly have undermined domestic manufacturing, according to Mr. Paul. Between 2001 and 2016, he wrote, the U.S. trade deficit with China has quadrupled, from $83 billion in 2001 to $347 billion in 2016.
"The status quo is simply unsustainable, and we agree with your statements that it is both possible and desirable to create a policy framework to support a resurgent, made-in-America manufacturing base," Mr Paul wrote.
Issues Mr. Paul sees as important for Trump to discuss with Xi include:
- Eliminating industrial overcapacity with establishment of enforceable benchmarks;
- Reducing the trade deficit through trade law enforcement, reviewing foreign acquisitions of strategic U.S. companies to prevent Chinese control, ending Chinese currency manipulation and other means; and
- Maintaining China's Non-Market Economy status.
Mr. Xi was scheduled to meet with Mr. Trump April 6-7 at the president's house in Mar-a-Lago, Fla.