Sen. Cornyn: China Doesn’t ‘Play By The Same Rules’ When It Comes To Free Trade

Emily Robertson | February 11, 2022 | 2:25pm EST
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Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)   (Getty Images)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) (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. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the authoritarian regime does not “play by the same rules.” 

At the Capitol on Thursday, asked Sen. Cornyn, “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, “Well, I mean, that’s been the problem ever since Joe Biden championed their membership in the WTO [World Trade Organization]. They don’t play by the same rules. So I think, obviously, it’s a big market for American manufactured goods and agriculture, but I think we’ve got to continue to watch them like a hawk because they don’t play by the same rules.” 

As the Census Bureau reported Monday, 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." 

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