The United States can't compete with China and should consider taxing Chinese imports to level the playing field, says real-estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.
A tax on Chinese imports would enable the U.S. to repay Chinese lenders and would create jobs.
On the flip side, just the mere threat of such a tax would force the Chinese to unveil more favorable trading terms with the United States.
"The fact is we should be taxing Chinese products, a 25 percent tax. We owe them money, we'll pay them back very quickly out of this tax," Trump tells CNBC.
"What the tax will do, it'll elevate what they've done with the phony manipulation, with the manipulation of the currency. And you'll be selling toys and lots of other products that are made in North Carolina and Alabama and Iowa."
Currently, China has no respect for the United States or its leaders and until it does, its business sector will have the upper hand via Chinese exchange-rate policies, he says.
"It's almost impossible for companies to compete because of what they've done in terms of the manipulation of their currency."
Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama recently announced $45 billion in business deals between the two countries, including a $19 billion deal for 200 Boeing airplanes.
"I absolutely believe China's peaceful rise is good for the world, and it's good for America," say Obama, according to the Associated Press.
For Trump, however, the deal will bring short-lived benefits, if any.
"They're ordering some Boeings. That's peanuts. They're starting their own airline manufacturer," Trump says.
"I hate to say it but Boeing won't have a chance because of what they do, because of the way they act."
Meanwhile, Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, says the United States should compete with China by forging free-trade agreements with other Asian nations and not through slapping tariffs on Chinese imports.
China is a competitor with the U.S. in the tight race to create jobs and fuel economic growth, Gutierrez told Newsmax.TV.
The U.S. free-trade agreement with Korea would be a key tool for the United States to win that race.
"One of the most strategic moves we can make in Asia is having a free-trade agreement with Korea,” he says.
”All of a sudden we're not just reliant on China. China sees that we have a very special relationship with a neighbor, other neighbors see the same thing, (and) we can start diversifying our business throughout the region," Gutierrez says.
"Those are the types of things that we should be doing to compete against China, but it should be that kind of a competition as opposed to the political rhetoric of imposing tariffs," Gutierrez adds.
Should the U.S. use laws to limit imports as opposed to using policy to increase trade, protectionism would ensue.
"And the U.S. being the leader, if we sanction protectionism, you can be sure the rest of the world is going to follow."
The United States and South Korea are hammering out terms over their proposed free-trade agreement.
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