Sen. Braun: China Is ‘Questionable Business Partner,’ Partly ‘Why Our Supply Chain Is In Rough Shape’ 

Emily Robertson | February 10, 2022 | 4:42pm EST
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Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) (Getty Images)

(CNS – When asked if it is possible for the U.S. to engage in free trade with a communist country such as China, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) did not answer directly but said that our deficit with China “is part and parcel of why our supply chain is in rough shape.” 

At the Capitol on Wednesday, asked Sen. Braun, “The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2021 was more than $300 billion for the tenth year in a row. Can the United States have free trade with a communist country?”

The senator said, “So, that deficit that we’ve run with them for a long time is part and parcel of why our supply chain is in rough shape and just for the sake of a deficit needs to be turned around. Now that we got all the other information, that I think makes them look like a questionable business partner.” 

“I think that that’s going to probably work itself the other way anyway,” the senator continued. “How much more they would do with us as they see our trade with them maybe back off? Who knows?”

“But I think that over the next 5-10 years we are going to see a lot of dynamics change based upon how they treat people within their own country,” said Braun. “I wonder if Procter & Gamble, Coke, and other corporations will be as firmly nestled into that country. I think a lot of what depends, in terms of deficits and trade, is going to be up to them. If they’re operating with authoritarian principles, I think that they can expect to do less trade with the rest of the free world.” asked the follow-up question, “Do you think that there is anything specifically that the United States could or should do about it?” 

“I think largely this is a function of what China is going to end up contending with because they’re not a handshake business partner,” he said.  “They’re not trustworthy, and they do things with their own folks, you know, like the Uyghurs, and human rights in general.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“I don’t think that’ll behoove them to expand a world trade presence,” he continued. “They’re going to still be big, just due to the fact that they got 1.2-1.3 billion people living there.”

As the Census Bureau reported yesterday, the United States ran a $355,301,700,000 merchandise trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China in 2021, marking the tenth straight year the U.S. trade deficit with China has topped $300 billion. In 2018, the deficit hit an all-time high of $418,232,900,000.

During 2021, the United States exported $151,065,200,000 in products to China, but then imported $506,366,900,000 in products from China, resulting in $657,432,100,000 in total trade between the two countries -- and a $355,301,700,000 deficit for the United States.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In its latest report on human rights in China, the State Department said that China is "an authoritarian state," where the "Chinese Communist Party is the paramount authority." "Significant human rights issues," it said, "included: ... forced labor and trafficking in persons; severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing; and child labor." 

Since the Communists took over China in 1949-50, the regime has killed more than 65 million of its own people for political reasons, according to The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press). 

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