President Trump ‘Kept His Campaign Promise’ to Stand Up to China

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, discusses a new report the White House has launched a probe into a coronavirus coverup by China and the World Health Organization.
“President Trump and his administration have done an extraordinary job in slowing the spread of the coronavirus by taking early action to ban travel with China and providing detailed guidelines to both mitigate the spread of the virus and reverse its devastating economic impact,” Andy Puzder and former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty write for Fox Business.

“This isn’t the first time it has been necessary for President Trump to stand up to the Communist Chinese regime.”

He kept his campaign promise and took on their unfair trade practices, which included heavy subsidies for China’s state-controlled industries, forced technology transfers for firms seeking access to China’s domestic markets, and outright theft of intellectual property. Using targeted tariffs, President Trump pressured China to end its abusive trade practices. The Communist leaders finally came to the negotiating table and signed the historical “Phase One” trade deal with America.

As we wrote in the Wall Street Journal in January, in addition to its pledge to increase purchases of U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural goods, energy products, and services, China agreed to “structural reforms and other changes” in the areas of “intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.”It was a significant milestone for President Trump’s foreign policy agenda and a welcome victory for our American farmers who have borne the brunt of China’s trade retaliation.

However, when asked earlier this month about maintaining China’s commitments to the Phase One trade deal, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said the economic teams for both countries should meet to “make [a] good assessment of the changing realities and coordinate our response to that.”

As far as we are concerned, there is no reason to reassess the Phase One deal. Ambassador Tiankai’s attempt to use the coronavirus — which originated in China — as an excuse to re-trade the deal is flat wrong. Remember, the trade agreement’s overarching aim is to reduce and eventually eliminate historically unfair and non-reciprocal trade practices.

Any attempt to reverse course from this initial step on the path to fairness and reciprocity is not the good faith action of a trade ally.

This tactic, as suggested by the Chinese Ambassador, is particularly offensive given China’s Communist leadership’s continuing effort to cover-up the origin of the Wuhan virus.

If they fail to abide by their end of the trade deal, then China must face swift and targeted penalties, which include imposing substantial tariffs and bringing our supply chain onshore.

To be clear, China’s economy has thrived through the manufacture of American products. By bringing our supply chains onshore, we will simultaneously strengthen both the U.S. economy and our national security. It won’t be easy, but President Trump has already laid the foundation.

From the outset of his administration, President Trump set out to make America more hospitable to economic activity. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 lowered the corporate tax rate from the highest in the world – 35 percent — to a more competitive  21 percent.

Candidate Trump promised to eliminate two costly and conflicting regulations for every new one. By October of 2019, his administration had eliminated 8.5 regulations for every new one, reducing the Federal Registry of Regulations by around 25 percent from a record high when President Obama left office.

In order to rebound quickly from the set-back precipitated by the Wuhan virus we must further reduce taxes for all American enterprises and continue to streamline our regulations and permitting requirements.

To encourage investment, Congress should also allow companies to deduct from taxable income 100 percent of all capital expenditures in the year they are made.

As recently stated by White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow “if we had 100 percent immediate expensing we would literally pay the moving costs of American companies from China back to the U.S.”

These basic steps would enhance after-tax returns and attract more capital for investment here at home, further accelerating the movement of U.S. supply chains back from China.

Additionally, we must encourage work by targeting job training and skills development so our workforce is ready for the jobs to come.

While we work to de-risk our supply chains by bringing them onshore, we must also continue to push back on China’s aggressive expansionary efforts. Whether it’s China’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea, their use of heavy subsidies to overwhelm and take over strategic industries, or outright theft of intellectual property, this Communist regime is steadily expanding its reach at the rest of the world’s expense.

Regrettably, China’s recent actions are more aligned with those of a trade enemy rather than a trade ally. As the Phase One trade agreement implementation unfolds, we must remain vigilant and monitor China’s trade practices to ensure they remain on the right path to meet their obligations.

With America reopening, the future of the Democratic Party lies in governor’s hands

Votes turning from Blue to Red Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

President Trump issued guidelines last month to help states prepare to reopen soon. “The president has left it up to the governors to look at their own data and determine on their own when it’s time to reduce the restrictions on their citizens. This is a tremendous step in the right direction for the country,while at the same time an incredibly smart strategic move for the Republican Party. ” Tim Young writes in The Washington Times.

It goes without saying that people want to go back to work. You, reading this right now, might be one of the most harmed by the coronavirus “essential business” and stay-at-home orders. I have no concept of what it must have felt like to have been living paycheck to paycheck or have just turned a corner in savings or gotten yourself out of a longtime debt to ultimately be kneecapped with a mere hour’s notice that you were no longer able to work.

Then, as you watched the news every day, you noticed your state’s coronavirus numbers never reaching the end-of-the-world predicted numbers, some even in the low thousands — your local hospitals were never even close to being overrun to the point that the nurses there were laid off or they even had time to choreograph a dance routine for Instagram — and the National Guard field hospitals that were set up for over a month stayed empty. While you observed that, your state’s governor or city’s mayor (in Washington, D.C.) continued to ramp up the rules against you.

First, you couldn’t go to work. Second, you couldn’t leave your house unless it was for something essential. Third, in some states like Michigan, you couldn’t even visit your neighbor’s house or buy seeds to plant your own food in your backyard. Now as those numbers decrease, the restrictions don’t — and President Trump’s coronavirus task force has given hope, as they have outlined the path to re-open the nation.

For residents in any state with a Democratic governor, but especially Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky — all three with what seem to be truly overreaching restrictions on their residents’ freedom — the odds that they will vote for a Republican is exponentially increased every second that they aren’t moved closer to being allowed to work.

For the first time in all of our lives, American governors have bypassed the Bill of Rights to protect their citizens. A year from now, we will more than likely have court rulings preventing such measures to be taken without a declaration of martial law, but until then, we live in an America where our actual freedoms and liberties were limited.

The problem now for the local governments, especially the Democrat-controlled ones, is that Mr. Trump just said that it’s time to give everyone their freedom back. As more and more states open up and restore life as usual, certain governors won’t want to give up what seems to be tyrannical control over their population. Do you really think Michigan is going back to normal any time soon?

And when Democratic residents of a state like Michigan, who voted for the governor who is now limiting every aspect of their lives aren’t given their freedom back in a timely manner, they will vote against the party in control the very next opportunity that they get. The president and the Republican Party don’t just know this — they & rsquo;re counting on it. And as we’ve learned from many of the Democrats and the media friends over the past few years, they will fall right into the trap that has been set.

When Mr. Trump said that he was going to reopen the country on his own, the Democratic governors didn’t just stop to say he couldn’t do that (he can’t by the way), they rushed to start their own committees and hold press conferences before his to reopen the country. On Monday, the Northeast governors formed a coalition and threw together a press conference in under three hours — governors on the West Coast did the same thing — they know exactly what’s at stake.

People who are forced to stay at home and not make money have had nothing to do but watch the coronavirus numbers drop for weeks — and now their president, whether they liked him before or not, both sent them money and told the states that it’s time to open back up.

The political clock is winding down for the Democrats in charge, and they smash their own clocks with a sledgehammer every minute that restrictions continue from now on. This was not only a great move to get America working again, but it’s a brilliant political move to turn blue voters red by doing the right thing while already knowing who the bad actors are going to be.

Jennifer Pickens: During coronavirus, Melania Trump continues offering comfort to children, families

Melania Trump and Karen Pence visit elementary school in Charleston, South Carolina

“COVID-19 will undoubtedly change America as we know it, but it is also a defining moment for our first lady. For those closely watching, it seems as though she knows it and is rising to the occasion,” Jennifer Pickens writes for Fox News.

The truly unprecedented devastation of COVID-19 has impacted the role of the first lady in ways not seen before. There is no past occupant Melania Trump can look to as a guide because how a first lady would normally react and interact with the American people doesn’t apply under the current circumstances.

Trump can’t look to Laura Bush, who was seen comforting survivors of the attacks of Sept. 11, or visit a combat zone as Pat Nixon did during Vietnam – this enemy is unique and does not allow for the visible and customary scenes of a first lady.

Prior to this war with an “invisible enemy,” Trump used her role to focus on children both domestically and internationally as part of her BE BEST campaign, which the mainstream media has largely ignored. Instead, they focus more on finding fault with the way she has continued traditions of those who came before her through her decorations and commenting on her superb sense of personal style. (Historically, Nancy Reagan faced similar harsh and unfair treatment in her first term.)

As all Americans try to adhere to President Trump’s guidelines to slow the spread and are practicing social distancing, the first lady can’t be on the front lines as she was when she visited the Texas coast after Hurricane Harvey or Florida following Hurricane Michael.  For fear of spreading the disease, the first lady cannot be in hospitals visiting with patients as she did in El Paso and Dayton following the tragic shootings this past summer. This health environment is creating a most unique challenge.

However, armed with a growing team of heavy hitters, including former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, as her chief of staff and spokesperson, and others like Marcia Lee Kelly and Emma Doyle, the first lady is using her platform to provide a reassuring voice to echo the messages from the Coronavirus Task Force and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Via social media, she has posted videos about the importance of social distancing, and information on how to cope with stress during this time. She has posted photos of herself wearing a mask, provided tips for parents on what to say to their children and even provided fun activities to do with them such as Be Best crossword puzzles.

The Flynn Case Is a Travesty

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn “was investigated during the Trump transition by anti-Trump officials at the FBI and Obama Justice Department on nebulous grounds. There was no criminal predicate for the probe : Flynn’s communications with Sergey Kislyak — then the Russian ambassador to the U.S. — during the transition, which set off the whole affair, were entirely proper.

The idea that they violated the Logan Act forbidding private interference in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy was always absurd. The last indictment under the constitutionally dubious act was in 1852, and the statute wasn’t meant to tie the hands of high-level officials of an incoming administration.

Former FBI director James Comey broke protocol by having agents interview Flynn at the White House on his first day on the job, a tactic Comey subsequently told a chortling New York City audience he wouldn’t have “gotten away with” in a more organized administration. Though the agents had a recording of his conversation with the ambassador, they didn’t play it for Flynn — instead simply grilling him.

The just-revealed notes of an FBI official prior to the interview ask whether the goal was to elicit Flynn’s admission that he talked with Kislyak about sanctions (the supposed Logan Act violation) or “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” The notes are open to interpretation, but it’s not clear what the FBI was doing besides hoping he’d lie.

In a newly disclosed email, Lisa Page suggests slipping in as unobtrusively as possible a warning that lying to the FBI is a crime, so as not to put Flynn on his guard.

Still, the agents who interviewed Flynn didn’t think he lied. Even if he did, as our own Andrew C. McCarthy has noted, a false statement is not supposed to be actionable unless it is material to something properly under investigation.

This paper-thin case (at best) was apparently on the verge of being closed when top FBI officials intervened to keep that from happening. Then, the case got picked up by Special Counsel Mueller’s team. Mueller’s prosecutors pressured Flynn to plead guilty, hoping he’d help make some sort of case against Trump.

That obviously came to nothing, but Flynn has been financially ruined and still faces jail time.

As for Flynn’s guilty plea, his counsel contends that new disclosures show it was elicited on the basis of threatening his son with prosecution. His son’s alleged crime was failing to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent. Such a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act had almost never been charged by the Justice department prior to Mueller’s investigation, and it’s not even clear the act would apply to Flynn’s son.

None of this was revealed to the court until now.

It was highly convenient for the Mueller team to have the Flynn guilty plea as a high-profile scalp to wave around for the media, which did indeed take delight in it and use it to argue that the probe was “closing in on” Trump.

We were never fans of Michael Flynn’s appointment as national-security adviser. How he handled himself in this matter — and especially his work for the government of Turkey while advising Trump in 2016 — shows poor judgment. But he’s been treated unjustly.

The court, Attorney General Bill Barr, and President Trump should all consider remedies.. . . This isn’t how our justice system, or high politics, should work,” the National Review editorial board writes.


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