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Pat Buchanan Warns China Is Using Bad Trade to Overtake United States

Ahead of Trump-Xi meeting, conservative commentator discussed Chinese 'economic nationalist policy' on 'The Laura Ingraham Show'

Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan warned on Thursday that there is a bigger threat when it comes to deceptive trade practices by China as the country works to become the dominant world power.

“The Chinese have an economic nationalist policy and have had one for 30 years,” Buchanan told host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show” on Thursday morning.

“The whole idea is to hold the value of their currency down in order to export massively to the world and in effect transfer industries and production from countries like the United States into China.”

President Donald Trump has been highly critical of Chinese trade practices as he’s attempted to rework established agreements.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping plan to meet for dinner on Saturday during the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The meeting could prove critical as the countries teeter on the edge of a trade war.

Related: Trump Optimistic About Chinese Trade Deal Despite Major Issues

“They use these massive surpluses of wealth. They have something like $4 trillion in surpluses with the United States over the last 25 years,” Buchanan said.

“This is the money they use to expand their belt and road projects. They are thinking long-term. They are thinking like Americans did in the 19th century, that eventually we’d be the greatest power in the world. We’re going to replace the British Empire. That’s the way Americans thought and that’s the way the Chinese think and believe.”

Trump has been dissatisfied with existing international trade agreements in general but has paid particular attention to China. His administration has imposed multiple tariffs on the country this year; the latest was a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of imported goods.

China was already hit with $50 billion worth of tariffs earlier this year.

Buchanan believes the United States is in a much better position economically to weather the downsides to engaging in a trade war compared to China. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow echoed the same point when speaking with reporters earlier this week about the upcoming dinner meeting.

“The question for Americans: Have we become so dependent on consumer goods produced by China and Asia and in other countries, that we’re simply not willing to pay the temporary price to restore economic independence for our own country,” Buchanan said.

“That’s the question Trump faces, but he’s the only one who stood up and faced it over the last 25 years.”

Related: White House Economist Sees New Trump-China Trade Talks, Maybe

Buchanan argued that the United States helped to pull China into the global markets over the last few decades by giving it privileges like favored trade partner statuses. But he warns the country has since used the leg up to position itself to take over the dominant’s world power spot.

“Now they wake up to discover maybe the tiger is predatory,” Buchanan said. “All the evidence comes in [the] thievery of American technology, currency manipulation and actions utterly inconsistent with a country that wants to be a friendly trade partner and thoroughly consistent with a country that wants to become first — militarily, strategically and in every other way.”

China has held its ground despite increasing pressure from the United States.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country will not be forced into a new trade agreement with the U.S. during a speech September 28 at the United Nations. Trump, however, has threatened to levy additional tariffs if all else fails.

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Connor D. Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected].