Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said President Joe Biden is in a bit of a bind regarding his administration’s relations with China, noting that the idea of easing tariffs on the Asian country will miss the mark for any attempt to help rising inflation.
Amid Biden’s trip to Asia, the Republican senator told Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo that the White House is concerned Biden will consider removing tariffs so he can be seen as taking some kind of action.
“There’s a lot of division inside the administration right now. On the one hand, they understandably don’t want to be seen as weak on China since Joe Biden has been weak on China going back decades,” Cotton said. “Just as recently as a couple years ago, he was still saying that China is not our main competitor and that China has no chance of beating us in that competition. Even if he, like an ostrich, sticks his head in the sand.”
Cotton noted that the Biden administration is concerned about inflation under its watch and may resort to lifting tariffs, saying Democrats will try to use the move as a disguise.
“These tariffs didn’t cause the inflation we see now. We had tariffs under the Trump administration. For that matter, we had a global pandemic under the Trump administration,” Cotton said. “We did not have inflation during the Trump era though. That inflation only started when Joe Biden took office and poured trillions of dollars on an economy that was already recovering from that pandemic.”
“So, the president can blame tariffs on China or the pandemic, or for that matter, big oil, or big meat, or Vladimir Putin, or anything else he wants for inflation, but the American people know that this inflation is a result of the Democrats' reckless policies,” the senator added.
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Regarding rising gas prices, Cotton also blasted the Biden administration’s “war on fossil fuels” as a calculated strategy to get people out of their cars and into electric vehicles or public transportation.
“They continue to push their ideological agenda,” Cotton said of far-left Democrats. “They want gas to cost $5, $6, $7 a [gallon] because they want you out of your pickup truck, your minivan, or your SUV, driving electric cars or taking subways and trains to work. This is their intended goal. This is not an accident.”
“What we should be doing is encouraging investors and industry to create more oil and gas and fossil fuel energy in America,” Cotton said, acknowledging that investment deals are complex and take time. “If the administration makes it clear that they are hostile to those investments, then it’s not surprising that people are spending less money in the industry and, therefore, producing less oil and gas, driving up your price at the pump. This all goes back to the Democrats’ war on fossil fuels.”
When Biden took office, inflation was at 1.4%. In April, inflation was at 8.3%.
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In spite of the rising inflation, many Republicans have blasted the sending of funds to Ukraine to support its resistance against Russia. However, Cotton noted that China is watching.
“If they see the United States and our allies falter in our resolve to support Ukraine defending itself, then I think [Chinese President] Xi Jinping will believe there’s no way we would actually come to the aid of Taiwan because Xi Jinping will invade Taiwan in the next five years if the United States does not take strong action to deter it,” Cotton added. “That starts in part by showing him we have the resolve to help Ukraine until the end, especially after the debacle in Afghanistan, which only emboldened people like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.”