Congressman Matt Gaetz Issues Statement on President Trump Imposing Tariffs of Chinese Imports

June 15, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the administration will be imposing tariffs on roughly $50 billion of Chinese imports.

“I commend President Trump for taking action against China’s ruthless and unfair trade practices by enacting a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods. For too many years, China has pursued trade practices and business policies that make it impossible for foreign companies to compete on a level playing field with Chinese companies.

In August of 2017, Congressman Neal Dunn and I held a field hearing in Tallahassee: Wanton Loot — How China is Stealing Ideas from American Entrepreneurs, which featured a panel of experts on Chinese trade and industrial policy. During the hearing, we heard about the many ways in which China consistently and deliberately steals American technology, then profits from it. China’s clear violations of patent and trademark law undermine American entrepreneurship.

China is engaging in a systematic and multifaceted strategy to steal intellectual property. Beyond the economic costs, this theft presents significant concerns for national security. The majority of Chinese companies that steal or benefit from stolen intellectual property are state-owned. The Chinese government is known for using their military’s cyber capabilities to hack into private US tech firms, stealing IP, then transferring the technology to state-run companies who profit from its development.

Over the past several months, President Trump has been taking concrete steps to address the critical issue of China’s aggressive IP theft and unfair trade practices, which have cost America billions, if not trillions, of dollars in lost revenue and thwarted economic opportunities. After a thorough Section 301 investigation, USTR found that China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are arbitrary and unfair, and burden U.S. commerce. The implementation of a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China will be essential in preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China – which will ultimately protect American jobs.

President Trump’s “America First” policies are a much-needed step in the right direction, and a victory for American innovation and creativity. America does not need a playing field tilted in its favor; our products are the best in the world, and American manufacturers only need to compete on a fair and level playing field in order to succeed. President Trump is leveling the playing field for the first time in well over a generation, and his actions will help American businesses thrive in today’s fast-paced global environment. As a member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, I applaud the bold steps President Trump is taking to address this troubling issue. China is one of America’s largest trading partners; their predatory behavior is unacceptable,” Rep. Gaetz said.