Sen. Kennedy: ‘We Do’ Have Free Trade With China, But U.S. Companies Should Resist Certain CCP Rules

Emily Robertson | February 14, 2022 | 10:40am EST
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Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) (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 Kennedy (R-La.) said, “we do” trade a lot with China but U.S. businesses should resist some of the trade-conditions set by the Chinese Communist Party, especially those related to human rights. 

At the Capitol on Wednesday, asked Sen. Kennedy, “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, we do. I mean we do. We do have a lot of trade with China. I don’t understand your point.” followed up stating, “I guess, just trying to see where we’re at right now with free trade with China, considering how they have handled relationships with the United States.” 

“Well, what makes our differences with China different from our differences with Russia during the Cold War is the fact that today the American economy is very intertwined with China and vice versa,” Sen. Kennedy said. 

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” the senator continued. “When you’re trading you’re talking which helps you to resolve your differences. The problem that we have with China in terms of their economy and our relationship and trade, is the fact that China imposes many requirements on American companies that American companies frankly should resist.”

One of the "re-education" camps in northwest China where an estimated 1.5 million Uyghur Muslims are being held.  (Getty Images)
One of the "re-education" camps in northwest China where an estimated 1.5 million Uyghur Muslims are being held. (Getty Images)

“For example, China will encourage American companies to support the China Communist Party’s position with respect to Hong Kong or with respect to the Uyghurs, and American companies need to resist that.” 

As the Census Bureau reported last week, 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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