Imagine this: an America First proposal that brings manufacturing jobs back to the United States, provides hay for the Chinese economy, and in the process restores some of our own integrity in Joe Biden’s America.
Sounds like Donald Trump’s vision, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, not all of the traditional GOP establishments are rowing in the same direction.
Namely, Wall Street has pursued a fetish of globalization for decades — uprooting generations of Central American livelihoods to bolster its own bottom line. Whole communities that always did things the right way crumbled, and cheap goods made from Chinese slaves emerged from the rubble.
Trump tried to warn us: this trend has not only marginalized the United States; it also made us vulnerable. When other countries control our supply chains, they control we. Do you remember how difficult it was to buy toilet paper at the start of the pandemic? Or for hospitals to buy essential equipment? Or how hard is it to wade through empty store shelves to find what you need at twice the price of two years ago?
Supply chain security is more than a matter of dignity. The move away from American manufacturing has made things more expensive as we ultimately let our rivals control the levers of supply and demand. America’s adversaries certainly understand what they are doing and how they can use this strategy against us. After all, look at how the Saudis and Russians have exploited our dependence on their energy.
From the factory to the refineries, we need America First trade policies that liberate those trying to do things here. We’re just better at it, and our economy will be better for it as well.
Enter carbon tariffs – the trade tool favored by Trump trade adviser Robert Lighthizer and America First Sens. Kevin Cramer (RN.D.) and Lindsey Graham (RS.C.).
Despite all the leftist rhetoric about the climate agenda they have been unable to advance during this Congress, their clamor has ironically highlighted an exploitable opportunity: our cleaner manufacturing. Almost every manufactured product imaginable is produced with less pollution here than in most countries in the world. Energy, steel, medicine, electronics, etc.
At a time when Washington is so focused on reducing the carbon footprint, shouldn’t it be equally motivated to find ways to reward cleaner American manufacturing and punish those who pollute for free and steal our jobs? Carbon tariffs are a way to have our cake and eat it too – a trade policy to restore American manufacturing while penalizing China for its pollution. Leaving this valuable tool on the table would only serve to further subsidize our competitors and lose the opportunity to revitalize our industrial base.
Carbon pricing is as simple as it sounds: charge imports a fee for their pollution when they cross our border. Suddenly, Americans who have been making the same cleaner products for years will now have the most competitive products on the market and be positioned for substantial growth to meet skyrocketing demand.
Jobs, jobs and more jobs.
Moreover, this realignment of supply chains will allow America to be more self-sufficient. China will no longer be able to rip off prices from our struggling families – instead we could buy what we need from businesses right next door.
To sum it all up in one sentence: a reliable supply of American-made products for less money in the long run.
Attacks on this America First approach are straight out of the establishment’s playbook. Opponents complain that their products made in China would become more expensive. Some argue that this will not solve global warming enough. Technocrats in particular decry that this would disrupt globalist trading norms.
Such feeble apologies should be expected of liberals, but of those who claim to want to “Make America Great Again?” Dishonest, to put it mildly. Why Trump’s tariffs were good before, but bad now?
Call a spade a spade: you are either for the America First vision or against it.
You prefer to restore American production or continue to outsource it to places like China.
You are either America First or America Last.
Which side would you rather be on?
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.