Trade Cases

DiMicco, Coalition Voice Support for Trump Tariffs

Written by Tim Triplett

Dan DiMicco is the outspoken chairman emeritus of Nucor Corp., a trade advisor to the president and current chairman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, so it’s no surprise he is a strong defender of the 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods announced by the Trump administration this week.

In comments to CNBC in a June 15 broadcast, DiMicco downplayed the potential impact of a trade war and said there is “a huge upside” to the tariffs.

“Think about the fact that over the last 20 years we have lost over five to six million manufacturing jobs at a time we should have been adding five to six million manufacturing jobs. If the market in China was truly open, if it wasn’t a gamed system by the government for political purposes and global glory, we would have added millions of manufacturing jobs in this country. That is not the way it worked, but that is the way it will work in the future.”

Commenting on the Trump administration’s Section 301 tariffs designed to help protect the intellectual property of U.S. companies, DiMicco said, “We have already lost a lot to their cheating, their hacking of our systems and their forced technology transfers. Now with their [Made in China 2025] plan, their goal is to dominate the industries of the future. There is nothing wrong with competition and nothing wrong with China wanting to be the best. The problem is it’s the government of China using underhanded, predatory tactics to keep American competitors from being able to compete in China the way the rest of the world can compete here. That is a basic fundamental flaw. They promised not to do that when they joined the WTO, but they have lied and they have cheated and it’s time for them to stop. The whole world will be better off in the future and so will the people of China.”

DiMicco feels the tariffs on the United States’ closest trading partners are necessary to ensure national security, noting that “Section 232 will address steel, aluminum, autos and a half dozen other industries.” He added, “Things come through these countries that are transshipped, mismarked, counterfeited. It happens through Canada, Mexico and Europe.”

In a related press release, the Coalition for a Prosperous America praised the White House for its implementation of the Section 301 tariffs on high-tech goods from China. CPA sees this Section 301 tariff action as crucial in combating China’s aggressive efforts to acquire key, high-tech U.S. assets through intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, and repeated cyberattacks on U.S. computer networks.

“This is a long overdue step,” commented Michael Stumo, CEO of the coalition. “The bottom line is that China steals American technology by any possible means, then sells it back to the U.S. at a profit. In doing so, Beijing is not only directing the erosion of America’s competitiveness in high-tech industries, but ensuring that domestic U.S. companies go out of business at the same time. This is an open-and-shut case of predatory behavior and outright theft, and it will be interesting to hear how critics of the president’s trade strategy can possibly excuse criminal behavior on the part of China. Anyone supporting open trade and the free market should appreciate the president’s carefully considered enforcement of existing U.S. trade law.”

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