The economy is so important to President Donald Trump's election – and equally dependent on a trade deal with China – the administration might need to weigh an interim deal, Patrick Buchanan said Thursday during an appearance on Newsmax TV.
"So, the question is now, I think: Does he do an interim deal now and get something, and then throw the issue over into the next term," Buchanan, senior adviser to former President Richard Nixon, said on "Newsmax Now."
"Or does he play real hard ball with the Chinese, and risk some damage in the downturn of the American economy, which can be more than problematic in the election of 2020.
"So, I think that's the call he's gotta make."
Buchanan told host John Bachman "the president is right" in taking a bow for his work to combat China to achieve reciprocal trade and market fairness.
"He is the only president of the last three who has taken up this issue of China's unfair trade with the United States, policies of dumping fentanyl, and intellectual property theft," Buchanan said.
He added President Trump is bold to take this on, particularly at the risk of more than just a trade war, but a military conflict.
"This a long-term matter for the United States, is the relationship with China," he said.
"You've gotta avoid a war with China, at the same time however, you gotta realize that you're not dealing with a normal trade partner simply cheating on a few items. You're dealing with the Communist Party of China, which has as its agenda and its goal of making China the greatest country on earth and pushing the United States out of Asia, and really becoming the dominant force in really the whole Eurasian area.
"You gotta ask yourself what are you going to take there and where are your red lines?"
Buchanan also backs President Trump on his efforts to find common ground with Russia, because pushing Russia away has just helped strengthen its bond with China against the U.S.
"Russiaphobia in the capital city is appalling," he said. "We've driven Russia into the arms of China."
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