Is Trump’s Trade War on China Good for America? A Soho Forum Debate

We are in a new cold war with China and
we better start realizing it. You have said that Trump is gonna ramp it up if the Chinese don’t stick by a promise that they probably can’t keep, so it’s
gonna get worse. You go to places like in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and tell people how good free trade is, I guarantee you they don’t share that
sentiment. Trump’s trade war is guilty until proved innocent, and the arguments that Steve has put forward are conjectural and speculative at best. Now for the main event, and again the resolution reads President Trump’s trade related initiatives against China deserve broad public support. Taking the affirmative, Steve Moore, Steve please come to the stage. Taking the negative, me, which means I must recuse myself as moderator and yield that spot to Dave Smith for the rest of the evening. Dave please come to the stage. Thank you very much Gene. How about that opening comic? He was great. Alright, so Jane can we, Jane there you are, can we please close the voting. That’s that. Alright by the way I don’t really think it
was necessary for Gene to make Stephen come out again anyway okay so at one
more time the resolution reads though sorry is it on the sheet I am NOT doing
a great job as moderator so far all right for the for the affirmative
seventeen and a half minutes Stephen come on up take it away we have to put the resolution on the
recording president Trump’s trade related initiatives against China
deserve broad public support take it away Steve great so you know I
just actually was in the White House a little bit earlier today and just a week
or two ago I had dinner with the president he had about 30 people for
dinner and that was kind of a fun thing and it was really kind of interesting
because it was dinner and he Trump likes to talk and he didn’t have the
teleprompter and he’s just kind of rambling on and but he’s very
entertaining guy and he sees one of the governors because there were about
twenty governors at this meeting and they were eating dinner and they were
sipping their wine and Trump just interrupted himself and he said Oh
governor he said do you know that I don’t drink by the way how many of you
knew that the Trump doesn’t drink I’ve been around him all the time I never
occurred to me that he didn’t drink and so he said and this the governor kind of
not a sense yes brother never heard that about you and Trump says can you imagine
me if I drank I do self more often so when I first met Donald Trump which was
almost exactly four years ago I was I think was January of 2016 the campaign
was just getting going and my buddy Larry Kudlow and I by the way how cool
is that Larry Kudlow is the most important economist in the world today
is that awesome or what we all love Larry
and so Larry and I went to go see Trump and he’s you know and I have to tell you
that I had a very negative opinion of Donald Trump at that time I thought he
was kind of a blowhard I thought his run for presidency was just kind of a
publicity stunt but you know there’s something going on with Trump at that
time and I thought well let’s let’s go see you know what I never met him you
know so I thought this could be interesting and we went you don’t look
down Fifth Avenue to Trump Tower and we went up to the 63rd floor and spent
about an hour with them and you know it was really he’s a very engaging
charismatic guy I really do like him a lot personally but you know we had a
long discussion about the economy Zork actually kind of a good listener or a
good argue he likes to argue which is a good thing
and the you know towards the end of the meeting he said well I’d like you and
Larry to be my senior advisors on the economy for this campaign and you know
literally our jaw dropped and I didn’t even know what to say and Larry kind of
broke this son silence by saying well you know mr. prime you know I’m at that
time Donald Lee said Donald you know we can’t be your economic advisors because
you’re a trade protectionist and you know were for free trade and I’ll never
forget Trump got very angry I’m not a treat protectionist I understand a
businessman understand the importance of global commerce and this and that and he
said but III think Amaris getting ripped off and I don’t think we’ve got a free
trade in this country and I don’t think that it’s these other countries are
playing by the rule and he said I don’t think we have a level playing field and
what he said to us was kind of interesting said just why don’t you guys
just go look at the evidence just look at what’s going on with our terrorists
and these other countries terrorists so we did and and I started looking at the
evidence and I you know lo and behold this free trader look I worked at the
Cato Institute Heritage Foundation I I was good friends with Milton Friedman
who was a unilateral free trader he believed we should have no terrorists
regardless of what other countries do and but I started looking at this and I
looked at the evidence and I could see that
lo and behold Donald Trump had a point that if you looked at the terrorists
that we were imposing on China and now this is before he you know he imposed
the terrorists that he has we were at about four percent you know our average
tariff on all goods and service to come the United States were about four
percent and and China was at about twelve percent or three times higher and
and not only that but you know the biggest problem with China is what we
call the matter of trade barriers that they had all sorts of other kind of
barriers that made it really very difficult for American companies to sell
our stuff abroad and we started and by the way it was the same with a lot of
these Asian countries Japan was they appear worried down here the Europeans
were about twice as high as we were and you know I thought well this is
interesting now what did Trump now here’s the more important thing when you
think about Trump and China and but by the way as well as Trump and
you know Europe as well that his idea what I call the Trump trade doctrine is
that the United State has to sell to the United States why
because you said it very well we consume everything right we are a you know 20
trillion dollar economy and most all of that you know we consume and then some
as you just said and so everybody every country in the
world needs access to America’s you know 15 trillion dollar consumer market and
that gives the United States some power and some I will use the word leverage
because we do have leverage over the rest of the world every country has to
compete with us and as Trump used to say to me you know Steve you said if we
can’t trade with China we sneeze if they can’t trade with us I shouldn’t maybe
use this metaphor they catch pneumonia but you know so anyways you know and you
know there is some truth to that they needed they need to trade with the
United States now I have to say I have a big advantage here if we had debated
this maybe two months ago it would have been harder for me to make the case but
the fact is the Trump got very very tough with China he and by the way let
me just say as a pure political matter I believe that it was the China there were
two issues that won the election for Trump and I’m not saying this
approvingly or disapproval I’m just saying it as a matter of political fact
the two issues that won the election for Trump were China and immigration no
doubt about it and that’s what won him in Pennsylvania and Michigan and Ohio in
Wisconsin and Iowa well regardless of how we feel about those issues I got to
tell you you go to places like in the Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and
tell people how good free trade is I guarantee you they don’t share that
sentiment those of us who believe in the virtues of free trade and I certainly do
we haven’t done a very good job of selling the benefits to a vast vast
number of Americans and I was always frustrated by the way with some of my
free trade friends a place like Cato and reason and so on who would say you know
what’s wrong with these people why don’t they understand you know the trade is
good and I’d say look if they don’t think trade is good they’re not the
problem we are because we’re the ones who are supposed to be you know selling
the virtue free trade now so Trump is using this
idea of using American power to force other countries to do what we want them
to do and I have no problem with that I have no problem at all I love what Trump
is done with NATO and he’s basically said to NATO look you want us to play
here you want us to defend you you’re gonna start paying more of your own
money for a defense and if you don’t were out of here
now that ruffled a lot of feathers in Washington but guess what guess what the
Europeans are doing now they’re paying more because they have to have the
United States in NATO or the NATO system falls apart and the same thing with
trade he’s basically said to China we’re gonna hit you with you know 10 then 15
20 % terrorists on a huge swath of their trade to the United States and lo and
behold after two years if you have to if you look at the deal that was actually
consummated and and and signed into law in fact I was just at the you know two
weeks ago I saw at the White House when they had that kind of ceremonial signing
of that you know you’d have to say to Trump one you have to I mean now you may
say it wasn’t worth the price because it did hurt our economy there’s no doubt
about it the trade boy with China in my opinion that knocked about half a
percentage point off of GDP in 2017 I mean 2018 and 2019 and that’s a lot it’s
it’s not insignificant but now where we are is China if if if and that’s a big
if if they actually abide by this agreement
they will their their imports of American products that is american-made
products to China will rise by about 150 billion dollars it’s a lot of money
that’s a lot of production that’s very very good news for American farmers and
our manufacturers and our technology companies and so on that’s a good thing
when they buy more of our steel in our cars and all of these things and by the
way the Chinese love American culture they love American things and with those
lower terrorists they probably will buy a lot more of the stuff they’ll buy more
of our petroleum products and so on there’s a lot of jobs attached to that
the other thing that China has agreed to in this deal and by the way this is only
phase one I will I will concede the fact that
is we are I’ve said this many times on Fox News and so you know this is the
epic battle of our time well China or the United States beat the world
economic superpower of the next 25 and 50 years I mean I that is the issue of
our time it’s not climate change and you know this and that it’s you know we want
I do I you know you cut me I bleed red white red white and blue I want the
United States to retain our position as the world economic superpower and no
small part because China has gone communist they’ve gone communist this is
the the red China is back and and by the way that’s one of the reasons I do think
we’re going to out-compete them because they have moved towards a
command-and-control kind of economic model and somebody anyone in this room
show me anywhere at any time we’re commanding control and central planning
has worked because I can’t find a single example anywhere so Trump I think scored
a big political victory I think it’s good for you know United States economy
going forward and I think we’re gonna see a strong 2020 economy and it is also
true as part of this trade war with China that is now in a stage of truce
I’m always asked well what if they don’t abide by the way I’m sorry I forgot to
mention the other big thing and the trade deal is the intellectual property
protection and this may be the most important thing in terms of the abuse
you know the way I put it is you know for the last 20 years we’ve been in an
abusive relationship with China they abused us they we opened up our markets
to them they didn’t open up their markets to us and it wasn’t a big
problem when there were three or four trillion dollar economy just getting
going but now they’re in the second largest economy in the world and you
treat someone who’s now you know an adult differently than you do a child
and so we are now in a situation you know over the last 10 years where what
the United States what we produce most of us in this room and people around the
country more and more of us produce intellectual property you know
inventions patents copyrights technology computer software all of these things
that’s just a form of intellectual property drugs vaccines we can’t live in
a world where the second largest we’re producing this stuff and you know just a
new drug for example can gosh one or two billion dollars of research to build to
develop that drug well you need a patent so that you can sell it you seem to make
money on it so we can make future during drugs to win the race against the cure
if you’ve got the second largest economy in the world that’s just stealing the
stuff and just you know copying it and then you know selling it in China that
that inhibits innovation and it also it’s stealing rights just stealing
intellectual property is as important as you know physical property so if Trump
prevails here in terms of enforcement then I think this is a it’s hard to
argue it’s not a good thing for the United States now you could argue that
it wasn’t worth the cost you know because as I said there was a hit to our
economy from this trade war and you know my view is yeah we took a hit but you
know over time this is gonna pay big dividends now to finally the question is
what happens if China does not comply and I think there’s a pretty very not a
very high but I would say at least a 50% chance they’re gonna they’re not going
to comply they these people lie they cheat they steal
that’s what communists do and so the question is what happens then and the
fact is Trump is going to you know there’s an enforcement mechanism here
and it’s basically he comes back with the billy club of terrorists and hit
some over the head of gotten with it and the reason by the way that you know
people say that the United States board the whole cost of the tariff I don’t
know I’ll be interested in your view on that you know there are a lot of
economists who disagree and disagree on that I never bought that for a minute if
you raise the price of you know this there’s a the fundamental law of
economics is that demand curves are downward sloping if the price of
something goes up people buy less of it and when you put a tariff on something
the price goes up so people buy less of it and this is exactly what happened
with the terrorists we impose the terrorists on them and what started to
happen is because Americans started buying less of Chinese goods and
services relative to the amount that they used to what started happening is
the factories started leaving China they’ve left for Vietnam and they left
for India and they left for Thailand and other countries because guess what by
moving a factory out of China when we were imposing the 20% tariff and move
into Vietnam now they didn’t have to pay the 20% tariff for them that came in the
United States and I think that’s what spooked the Chinese and the Beijing
government and President Xi and I think that’s why
they come they came to the to the bargaining table and I’ve used this kind
of metaphor before but you know I have I don’t know about you but I have to you
have any older brothers okay so you’re young rose yes did you beat the crap out
of okay cuz you know I’m the third you know I’m not you know I have two older
brothers and you know so my whole youth you know my brothers just beat the crap
out of me right and you know what they would do is they would just bang the
crap but I mean then they pinned me on the floor and they do that until you cry
uncle right and you know so I cried uncle that’s what happened with China
here you know they were pinned to the floor and Trump you know brought them to
heel and made them cry uncle I think it’s a very positive thing for United
States I hope going forward China does abide by this you know look trade is
absolute you you’re not gonna you don’t have to argue with me about the fact
that you know when two countries or two people or two entities businesses
voluntarily trade that’s the magic of the market by definition they are better
off final thing I’ll say what am i down to two minutes two minutes three I don’t
even need three minutes the final thing I will say is that you
know I started by saying that Milton Friedman who was one of my great great
heroes and loved me Milton Friedman he was a unilateral free trader he believed
that the United States should be like Hong Kong Hong Kong just as a free trade
zone you can bring anything into Hong Kong and they don’t impose any tariffs
and so on and I used to believe that but I have to confess you know Trump has
changed my opinion a little bit about trade because we do have American power
and can we we can wield that power to force other countries to play by the
rules I think in this case his tariff policy has paid off and the irony of all
this and I’ll stop with this I want to see what you say about this one the
irony is that because of Trump’s trade policies we may actually see freer trade
and lower terrorists not higher tariffs and less free trade okay thank you very
much all right very good Jean seventeen and a
half minutes for the negative Thanks in urging you to vote no on this resolution
I speak not only as a free trader but as a libertarian president Trump’s trade
related initiatives against China do not deserve a broad public support since we
libertarians are a sizable part of that public and of course I also hope that
non libertarians will appreciate my argument I’ll be talking about rights
and consequences because Trump’s trade trade policies are violating our rights
there is a heavy burden of proof to demonstrate that the consequences
justify that rights violation and that burden can’t be sustained start with
libertarianism zkk or tenet the zero aggression principle we don’t deny that
it might be acceptable in certain cases to commit aggression but since zero
aggression is the default position acts of aggression by the state require a
high degree of confidence that some greater good is being served in this
case we’re dealing with the government’s assault on our right to engage in
capitalist acts with consenting adults as both buyers and sellers the
government’s double digit taxes otherwise called tariffs clearly hobbled
that right call Marx thought capitalist robbed us of the fruits of our labor
were Marx alive today he might recognize that the state robs us rather than the
capitalists and that tariffs are one of those ways but if Steve Moore and
President Trump want to call for a voluntary boycott of Chinese goods to
pressure the Chinese into ending policies they dislike then they’re free
to do so Trump has access at 21 million tweet
followers he can marshal huge support for the
at voluntary policy I wouldn’t participate mainly because I regard it
as an inspiring win-win that stores like Walmart can lift the living standards of
Americans by selling them cheap goods made in China while also lifting the
living standards of Chinese workers from grinding $2 a day poverty but I’d have
no right to call these methods unethical since they involve voluntary action by
consenting adults but of course that is not what Steve is arguing for Steve is
calling for the Iron Fist of government to get us to comply to justify Steve’s
Trump’s punitive tariffs Steve should be able to demonstrate beyond a reasonable
doubt that the leader was supposed to trust with this trade war understands
the benefits of free trade yet Trump is almost completely clueless on the
subject he clearly views the Trump the nation’s
trade deficit as a business man’s profit and loss statement in which losses are
suffered with Trent with a trade deficit and profits are earned if there’s a
trade deficit trade surplus I won’t insult Steve’s intelligence by asking
him to defend this cockeyed view the real benefits from trade come not from
exports but from imports as Steve knows a trade deficit is made off for by
foreign investment in the US economy and trade deficits widen when the US economy
is prospering not the other way around so Steve is asking us to support a trade
war led by a president who happens to be a bloviating ignoramus on free trade
that should be reason enough to dismiss the claim that Trump’s tariffs are part
of a brilliant bargaining scheme to ultimately make trade more free as I’m
sure Steve will agree trade debt deficits with China will persist no
matter what so Trump will always think think US Inc is suffering
in dealing with China what about the economic effects of Trump’s trade war
well since Steve was once a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial
board he might agree with a scorching Journal editorial that appeared last
month the editorial begins quote the evidence of economic harm from tariffs
keeps piling up two studies out this month indicate again that US tariffs are
paid almost entirely by American consumers while illustrating how they
also act as a drag on US exports unquote the findings are surprisingly dire when
the US levies taxes on imports in the form of tariffs the foreign producers
affected often lower prices in order to stay competitive but that hasn’t
happened in this case according to a started study quoted in the editorial
quote approximately 100 percent of these import taxes have been passed on to us
importers and consumers unquote this is not only hurting consumers but domestic
firms as well since more than half of the costly goods are inputs domestic
firms use to make other products a Federal Reserve Board study published in
December also quoted by the journal included that quote for manufacturing
employment a small boost from the import protection effect of tariffs is more
than offset by larger drags from the effects of rising input costs and
retaliatory tariffs imposed by China unquote the fed study also speaks about
the long term harm to manufacturing from the trade war quote the increase in
uncertainty generated by recent rounds of tariff increases may be one of the
ways in which the effects of past policy persists unquote chump trumped signed a
phase one trade deal with China last month whose main benefit is that it’s
curtailed Trump’s plans to increase the financial bloodshed with stiffer terror
but under the agreement the existing tasks have only been partially scaled
back so most of the domestic carnage continues the debt the deal also
includes a bizarre provision that that is based on managed trade rather than
free trade trade managed from the top down that’s the strange pledge from
China’s government that over the next two years its economy will buy an
additional 200 billion Steve quoted a 150 billion but the pledge is 200
billion which would involve a 45 percent increase of three year in in China’s
purchases from us that the government is dictating from the top down on 200
billion more in US exports enriched Burness purchase in 2017 which is quite
unlikely to happen and since it’s quite unlikely to happen Steve has just put us
on notice that if it doesn’t happen the the assault on our rights and the
assault on our economy by Trump is going to be ratcheted up
so far we’ve dealt with the trade Wars worth of salt and our rights and on our
economic well-being now let’s deal with three myths that have been used to
justify the trade war when a state wages war against another state that state
often portrays itself as the passive victim in the trade war the US has
declared against China we’ve been told that the US has never engaged in what
Steve called the dishonest and dirty taxes tactics that China has perpetrated
that mix myth is punctured has been punctured by by groups that that Steve
tells us he reads by the Cato Institute and by a a Wall Street Journal op-ed
whose headline reads quote America’s abusive trade practices unquote followed
by a subhead that reads quote China has legitimate grievances to the World Trade
Organization often looks askance at US anti-dumping tariffs
the article describes the crony capitalist practices against China that
were ramped up under President Obama and have continued to flourish under Trump
the tariffs the u.s. imposes on imports from China based on accusations that
China is dumping its goods in our market what exactly is dumping you might ask
well dumping is a case in which a Chinese firm sells a product for a lower
price in the US market than is charged in China’s market so for normal folks
folks getting dumped on would be a happy experience and the best kind of dumping
would involve a Chinese producer dumping goods on us for free but in the world of
wonks dumping is considered a violation entitling the victimized nation to slap
a tariff on the goods being dumped or slap a duty as it’s called on the on the
goods being dumped and in the world of America’s crony capitalism our site has
been able to claim we’re getting dumped on even when it’s not been happening you
might think it’s hard to confuse prices in the US with prices charged for the
same good in China but then you’d be under estimating the hired guns who work
for the u.s. industries seeking trade protection from foreign competition in
the case of China there are often no prices available in its home market so
the hired guns have a field day constructing fictional prices from when
from which dumping charges can be calculated there’s an even more blatant
practice in which prices that that contradict the US case for dumping are
simply ignored using a method aptly called zeroing the author of the Journal
op-ed proposes that the u.s. offer to end these trade abuses as their
bargaining chip with the Chinese but as he observes quote offering a carrot
instead of a stick seems alien to the blunt bluster of mr. Trump’s approach to
deal making unquote US Trade Representative Robert light ionizer
might also object if we admit to our anti dumping scams
lighthouse er was a legal hired gun in the anti-dumping field before becoming
Trump’s trade rep this brings us to the second myth when a state wages war
against another state it generally portrays itself as having
first considered all the peaceful ways of settling grievances in this case we
are told that the US can’t use the World Trade Organization to channels challenge
China’s trade practices because China doesn’t comply with that organization’s
rulings the evidence is that China’s record of compliance is better than ours
an academic study on this subject peer-reviewed scrutinizes the 43 cases
in which China has been a target of trade disputes from its entry into the
World Trade Organization in December 2001 to talk to December 2018 the author
finds that quote China has timely and satisfactorily implemented WTO tribunals
in 42 out of the 43 cases he concludes quote the China’s record of compliance
suggests that the dispute settlement mechanism has been largely effective in
inducing compliance he also observes quote ironically while the US has been
accusing China of not complying with WTO rules
the US has record of compliance is evidently worse than that of China the
u.s. refusal to change the practice of zero Ling has been a blunt denial of its
World Trade Organization obligations and outright disrespect for World Trade
Organization ruling rulings in addition while China has never been subject to
any requests for retaliation as a result of failure to comply the US has faced 15
such requests which brings us to the third myth when a state wages war
against another state it generally exaggerated s’ the harm that the other
state has perpetrated against it in this case we are told that China’s massive
theft of our intellectual property comes to hundreds of billions a year and that
has been threatening a private sector incentives to produce intellectual
property to consider the plausibility of this claim take the figures on the
portion of gross domestic product allocated to private investment in
intellectual property which mainly consists of research and development and
software that investment came to four hundred billion dollars in 2000 just
before China became a major training trader in the world scene and has since
climbed to a stunning 1 trillion dollars in 2019 at a record high of nearly 5
percent of GDP so of our domestic industries feel sapped by China’s piracy
of our intellectual property they certainly don’t show it in the in their
actions while I questioned Steve’s high estimate the highest iment that steve
has mentioned in the past of hundreds of billions of year for here in
intellectual property theft it would not be so terrible if we really were
subsidizing the Chinese economy to that extent ironically our economy benefits
from the awful legacy of Chinese central planning which is what is made Chinese
labor so cheap the u.s. bought 540 billion in goods from China in 2018 and
we easily got a 200 to 300 billion dollar discount on that purchase because
of China’s cheap labor but even more to the point when Steve speaks of s
stealing our intellectual property he ignores the difference between stealing
and putting that intellectual property to some use given the heavy burden of
central planning in China that Steve himself points out it’s unlikely that
China will be put put much of that stolen technology to any good use so to
a great extent such theft is not really theft at all and so what are we left to
it we we are left with a situation in which Steve is on the hands of a point
of a dilemma on the one hand concerned about about China becoming a superpower
in technology as though we should really care or as though those in those people
in England Canada Sweden Norway seem to get along
just fine even though their governments are not dominant in technology but does
he really believe there is much chance of that happening in a country where he
himself says is increasingly subject to central planning how likely is that is
that really something to worry about in any case and is that really something
that will be very likely in any case so might there be a better way well start
by firing trade rep Robert light Hauser as a corrupting influence and put an end
to our anti dumping scams improve our record of compliance with the World
Trade Organization and press claims against China with that organization
that are legitimate and abolish all tariffs since there are an assault on
our rights and on our material well-being and meanwhile vote no on this
debate resolution Thanks all right very good so we’ve heard from
the affirmative and we’ve heard from the negative we will now have 5-minute
rebuttals from each and after the rebuttals will we’re gonna take
questions the debaters can ask each other questions I can ask a couple
questions and most of all we want to hear from you guys so we’re gonna do
five minute rebuttal each and then you guys can line up at the microphone and
you can ask your questions we do ask that you keep them as questions and not
life stories all right Stephen five minutes rebuttal from the affirmative
okay there was a lot there I agreed with and a lot I disagreed with and let me
start with a think of a central premise I know what Donald Trump would say if he
were here and I happen to agree with him on this we did not start the trade war
we didn’t start the straight or they started this twenty years ago I mean
when you have a situation where our average terrorists are 1/3 as high as
theirs are how can anybody in the right mind say with the were the villain here
and the word you know this is why by the way I think one of the great things
Donald Trump has done and you’re a libertarian why should we subject
our selves to the World Trade Organization every the United States
should pull out of every International Organization across the globe we should
never submit our our own palaces to groups like that
so okay look this policy has look I told Donald Trump it’s a very risky and
dangerous strategy and it was a risky a dangerous strategy but the fact is now
we are where we are we’ve got a pretty good deal that is going to in my opinion
improve the United States economy and it’s gonna force China to lower their
terrorists to have a level playing field and that’s a good thing I mean you look
at the result of this you know there’s my parents you say the proof of the
pudding is needing did it work yeah at least so far it has now I agree with you
that look you say the terrorists violate rights yeah I guess there’s something to
that but a tariff is just attacks a tariff is a tax
I hate taxes everybody in this room hates taxes I know there are a lot of
libertarians who don’t want taxes I don’t want taxes I want to be as low as
possible but a tariff is a tax and I don’t see why it is any more of a
violation of your right to impose a tax on a product that’s coming into the
United States when you consume it then when you pay your sales tax here in New
York right it’s just to say it’s just a tax and you’re consuming a product and
frankly I’d rather tax put a tax on a product that’s you know made in China
then one made here in the United States you know so sue me
I know you come here I bleed red white and blue I think it’s you know we should
you know but I don’t look my theory is we I disagree with Trump on steel
tariffs I disagree with Trump on aluminum tariffs I disagree with him on
Auto terrorist it’s never a smart thing to impose a tariff that’s a
protectionist policy to help one industry but I think when it’s about you
know getting rid of abuses of other countries then I think it is it can be
used effectively I think Trump has proven that let’s see what else you were
making the point about well this idea about I just I fundamentally disagree
with that Wall Street Journal editorial I did read it and I just don’t believe I
don’t think it’s right how can anybody who believes and
downward you know demand curves believe that when you put a 20% on a product
coming from abroad that the full cost of that is borne by the American consumer
as it doesn’t make any sense and by the way if that were true then China could
have just five years ago raised their prices by 20% right all they would have
been why wouldn’t they’ve just raised their prices if the full cost of it was
gonna be borne by America’s why didn’t they just raise their prices by 20% two
three four years ago and the answer is because people would have bought fewer
their products and that’s why the the this idea that the American consumer
paid at all I think is just really bad economics and I think it’s and by the
way the reason we know that that’s not true is because if that were the case
why would China oppose the terrorists at all if the full cost we’re going to be
borne by the United States a couple last points Oh dumping I agree with you
dumping look if companies countries want to give us stuff for free I’m all in
favor of that so I think Trump is wrong on dumping on intellectual property
here’s where I think you and I fundamentally disagree we cannot go
forward as a nation and continue to produce this incredible you know whether
it’s drugs vaccines computer software you know new kinds of you know
manufacturing and so on that tossed billions of dollars to produce there’s
reason that we have patent laws you protect people’s intellectual property
because that actually encourages more intellectual property a more enhancement
of new products and new to you know and I have a just give you one good example
of how abusive it is in China I have a good friend who’s the head of Apple this
is one example and he said I you know I was meeting with him he was the head of
the government affairs an app in Washington and he said Steve how many
Apple stores do you think there are China and I said I don’t know 50 he said
there’s no said there’s probably about 200 Apple you know retail Apple stores
in China and then he said to me Steve do you know how many of those are actually
owned by Apple he said about 10 of them oh the other 190 literally what the
Chinese do this gives you a sense of how abusive it is over there and how they
have no respect private property rights what they
literally do is they open a store and they will slap in it they’ll just take
the Apple and sing me and put it on the wall and say we’re Apple that’d be like
you know you and I may I’m saying hey let’s open up at McDonald’s we’ll just
put the golden arches up and we’ll call ourselves McDonald’s you can’t do that
and it’s just a microcosm what’s going on they have no respect for private
properties and we have to enforce our private property both with intellectual
and physical property okay gene five minutes of rebuttal and then
we go to the questions well Steve has just told us which something I knew that
he opposed Trump’s carves on steel and aluminum he opposed those taxes he
didn’t like him Steve that’s great that you feel that way and yet and yet he’s
asking us to trust this glow va ting ignoramus with these policies he’s on
the horns of a dilemma Steve told us that he used to agree with Milton
Friedman but guess who convinced him that look thin the same bloviating ignoramus Steve come
back to us about to us a look Steve the reason why I applaud it I mentioned the
World Trade Organization I’m willing to go with that managed trade business
Milton Friedman said we need a constitutional amendment a
constitutional amendment will read Congress should make no law no law
period charging period it wasn’t an anarchist Steve you know
that come on that shall make no law which which will impose a tax on imports
or will subsidize exports period no law doing that and we can become a beacon of
freedom to the world and we’re rich enough and it will benefit our economy
to do that and now Steve was persuaded by Trump that Milton Friedman was wrong
well too bad for Steve you don’t have to be persuaded by Trump the way Steve was
and now and now why did I say that if Steve that’s why I said if you don’t
want to deal with the World Trade Organization fine like that all I said
was that we are the delinquents when it comes to the World Trade Organization
not the Chinese the Chinese obviously partly because that we could they they
have it in their interest to defend us now Steve also wants us to to bleed for
the apples to apple stock by the way I looked it up it was at 4.6 billion
capitalization in the year 2000 and now it’s at a trillion dollars so if the
Apple stockholders want me to pay these ridiculous tariff taxes in order to
defend their rights to have more stores in China I will only tell them as a
potential philanthropist there are other people in greater need than they for my
philanthropy Steve wants us to stand up to these guys the fact of the matter is
that we are a powerful economy and again Steve seems to be cooler on the hands
horns of a dilemma he himself knows he himself has the insight to recognize
that essentially planned the economy like China isn’t really stealing our
intellectual property yeah they’re poaching on some of the Apple stores
well I I I’ll wait for Apple stock to go back
to 4.6 billion in capitalization before I start worrying about that overly
before anybody can ask me that the government has a right to violate my
rights by taxing me with with a trade war and then Steve is telling us on top
of that that if that if China doesn’t Bob I’d buy this ridiculous promise to
buy two hundred billion more of our goods which is going to be a forty-five
percent increase per year which was obviously just what was that what was
that agreement it was clearly just Trump wanted
something off the table and then on top of that what else does Trump wanted
something off the table he wanted this trade were no longer hang kangaroo said
we’ve got a phase one he’s gonna claim tonight in the State of the Union
address maybe he had Steve help him on that passage and we’re winning the trade
war against against China you know and and we’re gonna be on to victory with
our phase one but it’s not going to work out the Chinese cannot ratchet up forty
five percent and that’s managed trade that’s bet so I want to say to stable
Steve come back to us come back to us as the pure great free trader you are
because we need you you’re a talented man well what else I mean again
amazingly Steve then disavowed the Wall Street Journal editorial let’s summarize
six different studies The Wall Street Journal editorial said they keep piling
up and that keeps saying the same thing from every reputable source and then and
now Steve thinks that that Steve has actually told you maybe I can’t sit
there this crazy thing that that the 20 percent 25 percent tabs would have been
imposed on the Chinese know they’re imposed on us but of course they were
also heard that means that fewer goods are being sold the Chinese didn’t want
to ratchet up their price but it means that we are paying big time for those
tabs our rights are being violated and there is a better way the better way is
negotiate through the World Trade Organization clean up your app because
it is possible to do that or they’re even better way is come back to a steam
and become a radical for a change and advocate Milton Friedman’s view that we
had nothing to gain and everything to lose by not being a
beacon to the free world and simply saying we we have open borders with
spent trade thank you very much okay all right so now we’re at the the question
portion so if you guys want to ask questions you can line up by the
microphones of course at any point if you – are you a microphone right there
Steven if at any point you too want to ask each other questions yes okay so go
ahead i’m ripper and ready to go there we go I want to get to this issue of
being Americans you know burying American consumers bearing the whole
cost over tariffs not the whole cost I’m betting Oh close now you said it you
cited the Wall Street Journal which said that the that the burden of the
terrorists were borne by American consumers I thought that not the hundred
percent worth I would say you know my point there is absolutely a substitution
effect that in fact what happens is you let’s say we put a hundred percent on
tariffs from China what happens is people stop buying stuff from China and
they buy stuff from Japan or Korea or Taiwan or Thailand or the or even better
yet from the United States so it’s hard to say and the people who are the big
loser there there of course are the Chinese because
they can’t sell the stuff and they lose the jobs and Trump use that hammer to
force China it might but are you saying there’s not a downward sloping demand
curve for products from China Steve what I’m really saying is that it’s very
basically very similar to what you said a bit I’m only saying that the Wall
Street Journal editorial made it clear that certain things that make it easier
when tariffs are imposed have not happened that the Chinese sellers have
not rolled back their prices they’re still being I know why maybe maybe
because of the government I’m only saying that in a way I’m not that
interested in this because Steve you’re acting like a shill for Trump when you
say hey look guys I know that it costs you money you’ve said that I know that
is painful but but look hey you know it’s hurting the Chinese – okay fine I
don’t I don’t wish to necessarily go there I’m only saying that it’s a
violation of our rights and a violation of our material well-being
and when you say that hey look you know taxes ya know we’re all against taxes
but just grin and bear it because mr. Trump are bloviating in Doremus knows
what he’s doing I’m only trying to say that’s all of a piece
it clearly is painful you and I can agree about the pain if we’re a little
further apart fine it’s violating our rights and it’s exacting material thing
and on top of that you have said that Trump is gonna ramp it up if the Chinese
don’t stick by a promise that they probably can’t keep so it’s going to get
worse the burden of proof is on you to prove that that this is worth it and
there are resources there are other ways to go as I keep saying well a trade
organization or Milton Friedman what are the other you know it’s just my view
that we couldn’t we’ve I am proud that we finally have a president aren’t you
for the first time in 30 years that basically said to China we stood I to I
which I that said hell no we’re not going to be about this well well we also
had a president who ignored the fact that ever since Obama and through his
administration we have acted like cheats and and crony capitalists and exacted
duties on goods from China because of this ridiculous anti dumping thing read
the Cato Institute report on that so so if you’re proud of that you should also
be ashamed of the fact that Trump didn’t own up to the fact that we act like
Schmucks also Steve and you also might not know the fact that we don’t apply
but we thumb our nose at the World Trade Organization because we keep maintaining
it all right please do engaging this bullshit do we do we do boss use your
pear-shaped out do we sit of course but is there anyone like this idea that that
China has then you know the world trade or gonna say that the China is abiding
by the World Trade Organization come on Obama
think about 30 years every single thing it does is violate the World Trade
Organization says don’t work you know we shouldn’t be doing this come on all right
I have walls I see God I was moderate yeah I was like
oh shit all steel man Nick Gillespie is blowing it this week oh shoot Schmidt
okay well just comment briefly again you don’t know Steve
Steve I would roll it back and do Friedman’s thing as I keep saying so
listen but look the point is that Steve clearly
has had problems hanging around Trump the fact of the matter the fact of the
matter is that that a peer-reviewed study has been published on the fact
that China clearly is finding in its interest to a fucking WTO in the first
place you know that might be a point of agreement the difference the difference
between me and Steve is I am citing a peer-reviewed study that was the limit
at the Cato Institute all right all right
lutely you didn’t we can add more onto this in in closing arguments before I
wanna I want to ask a couple I want to ask one question of each of you and then
we’ll get to as many audience questions as we can okay gene do you think Trump
is obliviated ignoramus I’m kidding gene let me ask
you what something Stephen brought up which I’ve heard a lot of people who
have been traditionally for free trade but support Trump I call this the 4d
chess argument but so Donald Trump he did I believe it was at one of the g7
meetings where he did say how about we just eliminate all the tariffs since
you’re just conceded the idea that tariffs the full brunt is not borne by
the Americans it does hurt the Chinese as well if theoretically by threatening
to elevate tariffs it was it resulted in freer trade would
you then say that this strategy was ultimately successful may I should say
yes but yes but we have a bloviating ignoramus who believes that trade
deficits are always red ink so how can you trust him yes but we have a
bloviating ignoramus who signed a deal with China that’s not gonna work out
who’s threatening higher tariffs the burden of proof is on the other side to
demonstrate that this could possibly work the violation of our right for some
greater good and I don’t even think that it’s that good the fact is that it’s the
imports from China that matter not the experts we already have a full
employment economy so from nine ways till Sunday the burden of proof is on
Steve and and he cannot bear that burden okay and let me ask you Steven because
this was a gene touched on this in his opening as well so you’ve said that the
the issue of art of our time is not climate change or any of this other
stuff it’s who’s gonna be the superpower America or China but you also said that
communism is back in China if we’ve learned anything from the 20th century
it’s that communism is a guaranteed failure so doesn’t that kind of resolve
itself if communism is back is there any chance
that they’re gonna be a superpower no I’m gonna bet on the United States I’m
gonna bet on Silicon Valley and I’m gonna bet on our entrepreneurs and our
innovators no question about it I mean I really but it is true they’ve been
growing like gangbusters you know I think it’s actually sad what’s happened
in China and this is one of the reasons you know a gene that I actually
supportive of Trump when it comes especially to China because look we in
my opinion we are in a new cold war with China and we better start realizing it
look at that not just their abuse of a predatory trade practices but look at
what they’re doing in terms of building up their military their aggressive
stance in the China South Sea I mean I actually do believe I comply I hope and
pray I’m wrong about this I think we’re looking at China that’s Japan circa 1936
I really do I think they are they have designs of taking you
/ and you ask the people to look out for a harbor yeah what look out for oh look
and I think well you know we shouldn’t make the mistake that we did you know
back in the 1930s of just ignoring Japan as they got bigger and bigger and bigger
and then we had to be in a war we should be very suspicious of this communist
regime we are in a new Cold War and if you have and and I would go beyond that
I would say they were once you know an ally and a friend that they’re no longer
a friend they are an enemy and they are a menace and we should treat them as
such a brief condo serf real trade with the country like that works out so well
Wow okay brief brief comment brief comment if Steve is basically endorsing
the planned pivot to Asia if you’re going to support the pivot to Asia I ask
you what happened when the u.s. pivoted to the Middle East the awful bloodshed
and catastrophes that occurred if there is a threat from China if there is a
threat from China then tell Japan may I finish please Steve I allowed you to
talk I believe that if there’s a threat from China than Japan and Vietnam and
the Philippines and then Russia and India which are all in that theater
should be told to deal with it u.s. involvement does more harm than good
vastly more harm than good and for Steve to beat the war drum is a very dangerous
policy for anybody who can’t contemplate the hundreds of millions millions dead
from our pivot to the Middle East we should tell those local nations who
are well able to protect themselves Japan and the rest of them if you’re
worried about China being a bully in your backyard then do something about it
but but our government does more harm than good when it gets involved all
right okay let’s let’s get to some audience questions before we start wars
in the in Asia we’re gonna at least fight a war with Iran okay sir
so right here with the the snake don’t tread on me oh no that’s a Cobra Kai
sure okay either way it’s libertarian okay go
ahead so what’s your question my question is receive so I think it sounds
like you’re making a political argument you’re saying you we think we all agree
on the economics of it that tariffs are bad for both sides whatever you’re
making a political argument that we do it and in the long run they’ll end up
doing what we want because it hurts them okay so that’s the optimistic view
I’m wonder ested and what is your pessimistic view well how long do you
take this let’s say it goes on for years it gets really really bad what point do
you say okay this is too much we can’t do this anymore
right very good question it’s a very good question look I think Trump had it
exactly right that China could not withstand you know these tariffs and
that they would cry uncle pretty quickly and they did you know after two years
and let’s be very clear about this China caved in we and and one other point and
Jeana I’d like your your response to this there in my opinion there was not a
single thing that Donald Trump was asking of China lower your tariffs stop
stealing our intellectual property stop the force technology transfers where if
a company wants to do business in China they effectively have to give up their
ownership none of those things are unreasonable so I want to throw this to
you do you think there’s anything that Donald Trump was asking of China that
was not a reasonable demand if that’s all reasonable fine what’s unreasonable
what’s unreasonable is for anybody to any government to use its Iron Fist to
impose taxes on us because he wants us to agree with him about what China is
doing my reaction personally is that would have been if I want to voluntarily
participate in the boy kind of Chinese goods I would have said we’ve got fifty
other problems in this world that are far more important than what China is
doing we invest a trillion dollars a year in intellectual property we now
have a three and a half percent unemployment rate we don’t want to
jeopardize our growth we don’t want to pay a price and we don’t want to be
led by a bloviating ignoramus who thinks all trade deficits are red ink this is
not somebody I can trust so how can he be uploaded you know even Remus if he’s
created the best economy for the United States in 30 years
creator well we cut regulation we promote American I’m sure you got
government up the back up is best we want to trade Wars I mean that’s a
pretty good record now we have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years the
lowest inflation rate in 50 years the lowest interest rates in 50 years the
biggest wage gains in 30 years and you know what’s not to like about that
picture we’ve got 2% gene-gene a quick response
effects of interest even I’m surprised surprised at you because the truth is
that we have a 2% growth rate that’s shit
2% to and half of shit that’s a huge improvement over one point nine percent
under Obama yes right we wanted 3% we haven’t gotten there but you my god this
is the best economy for the US and at least 30 years and this ignoramus
somehow did it even with the trade war ok ok all right everybody calm down no
no no heckling please and we don’t use the term we I’m a comedian I contribute
to no economy whatsoever we would all starve if it was just for me so let’s
not use the collectivist thing just briefly just briefly there is the good
the bad and the ugly about Trump’s policies on what treat wait if you see
what I want to talk about the good we could but we are talking about the bad
and the ugly this is ok let’s uh let’s move on to another audience question
thank you this is for Steve I’d love to get genes response also Steve you
mentioned that China is becoming increasingly command and control I agree
and that that never works out but given that wouldn’t the correct
response be to free up our economy even more rather than add to command and
control with tariffs in other words how do you justify fighting command and
control abroad with command and control at home thank you it’s a great question
and look I mean I think there’s very few presidents in modern times
who have moved towards you know free markets than Donald Trump I mean my god
Rick that’s the biggest tax cut we’ve got our business tax rate in half which
is a huge huge incentive for people and businesses to move here we’ve we did the
10% repatriation tax we’ve imported a trillion dollars of capital from the
rest of the world into the United States think of the jobs that are attached to
them there is no you know I work with these people
there is no administration even Ronald Reagan’s administration I love Ronald
Reagan I think he belongs on Mount Rushmore but the pace of deregulation
that is going on under Donald Trump is unrivaled and we were just getting rid
of all of these impediments to growth so yeah absolutely
you fight command-and-control with free enterprise but you proposed these
punitive tariffs on China to try to get them to behave that’s the strategy we
did thanks for the excellent question the fact of the matter is that we forged
a managed trade agreement with China China is supposedly committing it’s it’s
it’s it’s partially decentralized economy to buy 200 billion worth of
goods over there with us over the next two years that’s not free trade that’s
managed trade and clearly it’s the only thing that Trump understands with
respect to what Steve just said my only disagreement is obviously that what
government taxes us really is what is in line with what government spends and
when Trump came in and he talked about the waste fraud and abuse in government
that released overspending he then turned around and did absolutely nothing
about it so that’s unfortunately a huge blot on Trump’s record we’re running
trillion dollar trade deficits technology streaming trillion-dollar
fiscal downside trillion-dollar fiscal deficits and that has been a disaster
so Trump again he’s the good the bad and the ugly the good by the way I agree
with Steve has been deregulation but to lower taxes and not lower spending as
Milton Friedman sad Steve as I might remind you another bit of wisdom from
him when is the tax cut not a tax cut when it’s not matched by spending cuts
so jump has not really lowered our taxes he’s taxing us by doing all that
spending and that’s been a disaster yes Stephen do you want to respond to the
the record high spending and the growth in the size of government yeah I wrote
the book Trump anomic the essence of Trump Atomics is grow grow grow grow as
fast as you can put people back to work get American companies more profitable
so they would pay more taxes and even with our tax cut by the way are you
opposed to cutting our business tax rate from 40 to 20 percent I’m not opposed to
it but I don’t regard it as a true tax cut unless the waste fraud and abuse is
addressed which is not that I don’t like the waste fraud and abuse but all of a
sudden you’ve incentivized companies to move here commands to move here because
our tax rate is now look we have the highest business tax rate in the world
now we have one of the lowest one guess what everybody wants to come to the
United States right now and the same thing you know with respect
chorus chorus Steve Steve I agree with that point but try to understand Milton
Friedman’s but I understand not a tax cut if you’re not cut spending
that’s why female tattooers we actually got more revenues into Juno in 2019 the
united states collected more tax revenues than any other single year in
american history it is not a revenue problem in you are you and I agree okay
on that on that moment Steven ACK we’re gonna we’re gonna move on I love the
supply-side argument of tax cuts increases revenue to the federal
government I’ve always said is my least favorite part of tax cuts all right
let’s let’s take the next questions okay the Atticus to speak all right
question for Jean so you expressed concern the Trump is a bloviating and
Ramos yeah yeah yes perhaps perhaps news that a politician would be such a thing
um the question though is do we actually need Trump to not be a bloviating
ignoramus to to pursue useful policies like Milton Friedman talked about how
economic models work even if people who make them work don’t actually understand
economics maybe Trump just has a really good eye
for weakness maybe he knows that China’s only successful global brand names are
Huawei tik-tok and coronavirus and maybe he just thinks that China has
who’s well yep thank you very much I guess it’s possible conceivable between
heaven and earth that a bloviating ignoramus who thinks specifically said
specifically said that they they’re robbing us what he specifically said was
that that we that it’s cost us 800 billion dollars a year and we’ve got to
get it back I’m quoting it verbatim 800 billion a year he was talking about the
trade deficit the merchandise trade deficit with China we’ve gotta get it
back unfortunately if you take him at his word then he’s a dangerous man he
obviously believes that only if you run a trade surplus with another country
he’s a pure ignoramus mercantilist he literally believes that that you profit
from exports and you lose from imports so that’s in this particular case very
dangerous and he’s literally threatened as steve has just told us to boost the
tariffs boost boost the bloodshed that’s being imposed on the American people
because he wants to bring about some man it seems as though if you take Trump
seriously that he will only be happy if we’re running a trade surplus with China
which ain’t gonna happen if you call Donald Trump a blow feeded ignoramus one
more time he’s a bloke Armus gonna turn into dan Aykroyd and call you an
ignorant slut all right all right I’m fearful I’m limiting gene
to three more three more for the debate there are elements of truth in both of
those tears that genes wife is in the back nodding I’m not sure what that
means all right let’s uh neck next question how are you sir good thank you
so I’ve heard tonight as a potential remedy to our supposed to trade
grievances with China greater cooperation with an enforcement of the
World Trade Organization and what I wonder from both of is if either or both
of you believe that another potential remedy could have or could have been or
could still be the trans-pacific partnership uh either one of you guys
want to jump on that one first it was the both of you gene yeah another
potential remedy partially could have been the trans-pacific partnership
there are many remedies available it’s very very clear again that we are the
bully in a way precisely what Steve said we’re the supremo we don’t abide by
rulings that we don’t like so we have thumbed our nose at the World Trade
Organization and now again I’m of two minds
I’m only saying that if you believe in negotiations and you don’t want to go to
war then negotiate through what through the agency that’s available don’t
violate the World Trade Organization rulings which the US has done China is a
weakling comparatively and it wants to be able to get into the World Arena with
other countries that’s why the peer-reviewed studies showed that China
abides by those rulings because the weak countries do however however as I say
all of this stuff is offensive to a libertarian like me I don’t want New
York to negotiate with Massachusetts about trade between New York and
Massachusetts that’s offensive I don’t want New York City to negotiate
with Chicago about how one city trades with another it’s capitalist acts
between consenting adults and so we should simply outlaw all this bullshit
of tariffs and duties and so but close down the export-import bank
and fire what’s his name who’s the trade rep who’s man and so we should do all of
those things radically look I just don’t agree at all with this blame America
first as I said at the outset that’s the data is absolutely crystal clear the
last thirty years the United States has had the lowest tariffs of any other
country now you may argue that that’s an advantage of ours and I wouldn’t argue
with that but our our terrorists on average have been half what they are in
Europe and one-third of what they are in Asia on average so how in the world can
anybody say that we’re not the one body by the WTO it’s just ridiculous at its
base all these other countries are rampantly
violating WTO they go to these you know European you’re a crab bureaucrats and
they they rule against the United States so hell yes I get us the hell out of the
world throat a trade organization we are the alpha-male economy we’re babies
basically saying we’re the policemen now you’re gonna play by our rules because
you need to trade with us and we’re gonna have now look on this issue of the
of the TPP that’s a tough one for me I think there were some flaws in the TPP
but in I could be persuaded that Trump made a mistake in pulling it out because
I do think the best look you all know from what I’ve said tonight I think that
China is a real menace on the world scene and we’d better wake up to it and
the best strategy in terms of dealing with China is to isolate them and
there’s where I think Trump probably made a mistake in picking a fight with
Mexico Canada you’re a peashooter famed all’s guns at China because they are the
villain here well again what Steve said was a kind of a non sequitur I recommend
that you read the Cato Institute study about what we do with respect to this
crazy circus of claiming that we’re being dumped on we it’s it’s obviously
been a crony capitalist carnival that was unfolded under Obama and that the
World Trade Organization has tried to get us to stop so the fact of the matter
is we do abuse and we do not abide by World Trade Organization rulings because
we have a crony capitalist system that Trump should have
for Obama went along with it loved it and so does Trump and I bare should be a
stop to it and that should be it should be off it or should be simply rolled
back but so Steve again has spent so much time with President Trump he’s not
even aware of what the Cato Institute the people he supposedly respects have
been document in the country that runs a trade dead look I agree with you this
what this trade deficit trade surplus stuff okay I agree try and you’re right
Trump is wrong about obsessing about but the fact is we want run a trade deficit
with virtually every country in the world so how in the world are we the one
that’s violating the trade agreements when we run a deficit with every other
country Steve that’s a non-sequitur but the fact of the matter is that we
still have very substantial crony capitalist interests that that that the
threat that our US trade rep was fighting for in order to get them
special privileges and the World Trade Organization has been imposing this on
stevis has spent so much time with Trump he’s impervious to share information
that contradicts Trump’s crazy ex cathedra statements the fact of the
matter is that we’ve been engaging in trade abuses something called zeroing
that we’ve been engaged in and we can canoe to do it because we don’t abide by
the World Trade Organization oh we’re coming to the end here but it’s very
simple my argument we tried your approach for 25 years no we did we did
we try we treat kept saying oh they’ll abide by the World Trade Organization
there’ll be a good trade fair and they weren’t and finally it took the new
president Donald Trump is said to hell with this we’re going to hit back at you
hard unless you start behaving yourself and lo of the whole here we are three
years later and they’ve actually agreed to recommend god I gotta cut you off
there I want to get another question or two if possible we got to save it for
the for the closing arguments so go ahead next question from the audience
Steve so you mentioned that China abuses the US so if the US is the dominant one
in the trading relationship and there are as you mentioned other production
options such as India or Vietnam why didn’t we just leave the trading
relationship all together don’t suggest that to Donald Trump
look we there’s no over the last 30 years we’ve benefited
largely from the fact that you know you made this point I think it’s very
persuasive point you know they’re given yeah that’s why I don’t mind dumping if
they want to give this stuff for free I don’t think there’s any problem what I
think the problem is is not the dumping it’s the fact that they have not opened
up their markets to us and my point is you know and I would argue make this
argument with Milton Friedman what we can live in a world where we have very
low terrorists and they have high terrorists and that hurts them but
wouldn’t it be better to live in a world with both countries have lower
terrorists and that is the endgame that’s why I’m so glad you brought up
Donald Trump did we’ll go to the Europeans at the g7 meeting he said
we’ll go to zero tariffs if you will every European ran for the high grass
the last thing they want to do is get rid of their tariffs so they are they
are total of trade hypocrites in my opinion but look the best outcome is I
think if China abides by these deals and we can buy all this low price cost
products from us but they also pay us for the things that that we produce and
and and pay us for the intellectual property I think you’re dead wrong on
the importance of intellectual property theft it is it is it is rampant in China
they have no protection at all proxy property whatsoever Iman brief response
and then I want to get one more question Sabritas
just try to briefly remind the young lady you just asked that question that
you were asking this question as though would I want to buy from China it is
first something I bet I gotta get permission from the White House to buy
that’s not the way a free people operate if I want to buy something from China
I’ve got a right to do so very quick I think that’s I mean I think you make a
very strong point if Americans don’t like you know Germany or France or this
country or that country nobody puts a gun to anybody’s head it requires them
to buy these things and I agree with you I think you know is a patriotic duty
every American should on their own basically not buy stuff from China I
mean just look if if it’s have got the China label I look I’m
I look for the American label I want to buy stuff in America that’s my right as
an American and I think you’re right there are a lot of Americans who are
hypocritical who continue to buy this stuff from China and then they want
tariffs on the stuff so they won’t buy it
okay very good I want to get one by the way I’m starting a voluntary boycott of
hipsters from Brooklyn I don’t like that but one more question if anyone wants to
join me plea agreement all right one more question and then we’ll move into
closing arguments chad has been accused of being a national security threat
violator of human rights and an aggressor in the South China Sea and
elsewhere in addition a communist regime like China’s you could argue credibly
that the ruling party driving those threats violations and aggressions at
the same time the biggest beneficiary of our free trade is in this instance can
the u.s. then justify protectionist policies either one of you guys want to
want to jump on that well that that may by the way you’re appealing to my
conscience when you talk about there being human rights abusers and let me
say that maybe I do have to explore my conscience for example if I would tell
something is produced by slave labor I really shouldn’t
ethically buy it I would not ethically buy it I wouldn’t I wouldn’t interfere
with everybody else’s right because they’re not the slave masters but I
agree with you that that that’s the point that we have to look to ourselves
individually as to whether we want to trade with China it’s not a Trump’s
business yeah I generally agree with you and the gentleman I mean you know I
didn’t even mention the human rights violations which are also outrageous in
China I mean you know they’ve had though I mean they had the biggest you know
violation of human rights in human history with the one-child policy and
you know that kind of thing but you know there’s no religious freedom there’s no
right of expression and there every there’s all sorts of you know political
repression they put people in jail who disagree with the government it’s a
problem what we do about that I I don’t know I mean I think you’re right that we
should all make ethical decisions ourselves about whether we want to buy
stuff from a country that is totalitarian all right that wraps up the
the question portion thank you for all the great questions excellent
and nobody was like too usually we have at least one person who
gives their life story everyone asks good questions alright so we’re gonna
move on to the closing closing arguments and seven and a half minutes seven and a
half and you want to stand up you want to stay I’ll just sit you know look I
I’m cut out what I’m out of intellectual ammunition as who is that
vice-presidential candidate you use that term Admiral Stockdale many years ago
look you raised an interesting point about the United States and you know not
you know not having you know goods from Chicago you know you know New Yorkers
putting an import tariff on something for Chicago one of the things that has
made America there are many many things that this America made America the
economically you know a mightiest country in the history of civilization
but one of them is clearly the fact that it was ingenious our founding fathers
were ingenious they sent out base system of it well at that time 13 state but now
it’s a 50 state free trade zone so if you want to see the benefits of free
trade no question look at the United States it’s precisely because people in
Indiana can’t put a tariff on things that are made in Illinois and so free
trade is absolutely one of the pillars of prosperity with lower taxes less
regulation sound money but the fact is sometimes you get into a situation as we
I think we have gotten in with China when we were wearing a kick me sign for
the last 25 years and to quote the ignoramus that you like to quote I mean
he was right the Chinese were laughing behind our back at this day they
couldn’t believe that the United States just kept taking this abusive
relationship and I’m I’m actually proud of Donald Trump even though I don’t
always agree with his methods that finally we have a president who is
staring down China and I think the American people agree with that too all
right very good oh very good so Jean you have a seven
and a half minutes if you you can look at that he’s offering you his time
there’s a voluntary gift Steve is a very generous free trader and
given that is a man of great character in that regard and and I like an
environment personally and unfortunately however the reality the realities are
that this debate is not a level playing field
since Steve would have the government assault rights and material well-being
we must begin by rejecting trades on Trump’s trade war unless Steve can prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that it will bring some overwhelming good
put another way Trump’s trade war is guilty until proved innocent and the
arguments that Steve has put forward or conjectural and speculative at best now
I want to read some inspiring words inspiring words that go as follows
America’s most valuable role in the global economy is to lead by example
our most important gift of the world is to export the virtues of democratic
capitalism and free enterprise when we get it right the rest of the world
follows Steve now probably you know he wrote that’s a
that’s a book that he co-wrote with Arthur Laffer and we all know that art
Laffer is a nice guy but it doesn’t have Steve’s Eliquis so Steve you must have
written that passage in the collaboration between you and art Laffer
laugher and so those are inspiring words and and and then I’ll read some other
inspiring words which state will also recognize the wise course for us is to
move unilaterally toward free trade and by the way Milton Friedman meant he
wrote those words he actually said that when he was challenged on when he was
free to choose sessions that that obviously I want to move toward a freer
world but I don’t want to wrench people who are living with a certain status quo
and so when he was Chuck he said I want to ratchet down all the tabs by 20% of
here the towers were a bit higher than any tariffs in certainly 20 to 25 to 30%
tariffs the Trump has been imposing or obviously they obviously cause blood on
the floor to Americans and it doesn’t really matter to me that much whether I
feel sorry that it’s also causing blood to the Chinese since they are a very
very poor people they we make much of the fact that China’s GDP is almost as
high as ours but we forget the fact that they have four and a half times the
population so that that per capita per capita GDP is a little over a fifth of
ours and and we a rich and great nation are fighting an economic battle with
them that and Friedman continued that this is clearly the right course for
action on economic grounds now Steve wants us to pointsme to be exercised by
by a centralized planning government stealing our intellectual property
rights again though Steve knows Steve knows that you can’t steal intellectual
property rights unless you have some entrepreneurship going on
I guess the best you can do is poach on some Apple stores as Steve has said and
so we are afraid of a country that is a buy unfortunately careening toward a
potential unwinding that’s similar to what happened to the Soviet Union that
is our fear and and Steve who believes in free markets who should who is proud
of free markets understands better than us should understand better or at least
as well as any of us that that the only way you can implement intellectual
property is that if you have a free and entrepreneurial market and so we should
be sorry for what’s happening in China sorry aside from aside from the awful
fact of the of the outbreak of the epidemic in China but sorry for the fact
that they have so that that government is so mishandled things and the best we
can do is lead by example to use Milton Friedman Wharton Friedman’s words to be
a beacon to the free world but that’s obviously not not on mr. Trump’s radar
screen he not only thinks that trade deficits are like red ink he also can
only work through the through the iron fist and so he’s not a leader we want to
follow if Steve meets with President Trump and and manages to nudge him in
the direction of during a few good things like deregulation I only wish
you’re not Trump into doing a few other good things like trying to tame our
runaway spending but if treats Eve is unbalanced playing a good role with
Trump that’s fine but tonight I cry a Corral Steve into defending not the good
the Trump is doing but the bad and the ugly to continue with what Newton the
Milton Friedman wrote we are a great nation the leader of the free world yet
we squander our political power to appease the steel aluminum and
washing machine industries which is actually quite prescient because that’s
what Trump has been doing specifically we should instead be setting a standard
for the world by practicing the freedom of competition of trade and of
enterprise that we preach and that’s why Steve and I should both sign on this
constitutional amendment radical change only happens when people start standing
up for radical change as friedman said you need those radical ideas on the
shelf because you never know when you might use them might need them and to
those who say that that i have no sense of politics when i talk about the the
constitutional amendment Congress shall make no law taxing imports of
subsidizing exports I say to them you have no sense of history because radical
change does happen does happen can happen has happened as long as there are
radicals they’re backing up radicals like Milton Friedman to keep
articulating the need for that radical change and I invite somebody with
Steve’s of insight and his abilities to rejoin us in that fight thank you very
much all right very good terrific debater
round of applause for both of our debaters excellent job all and Jane if you
wouldn’t mind opening up the final voting now again the the resolution its
we are better than the DNC in Iowa we are gonna get this thing right here
today I we may have the map who knows but anyway once again resolution as
president Trump’s trade oh yeah I got the tootsie rolls
I didn’t you gave him to me I didn’t eat him I’ve been on stage the whole time
Trump’s trade related initiatives against China deserve broad public
support that was the resolution while you guys are voting on that I’m just
gonna let you know a few some of the exciting debates we have coming up here
at the Soho forum on Monday March 7th we have a Columbia huh well my copy says
March 7th so we’re moving at March 9 is that correct
okay Monday March 9th come on if you show up on the 7th nothing’s going on no
well it’s not my fault Monday March 9th Columbia Law Professor Tim woo author of
the curse of bigness will defend the resolution antitrust should take the
initiative to control the size of big tech companies against NYU Law Professor
Richard Epstein no relation Monday 6th that’s a good one
Monday six free ticket for Steve that’s coming from a Jewish economist that’s
pretty impressive all right Monday April 6th from the Cato
Institute which was invoked 95 times today adjunct fellow dr. Jeffrey singer
will defend the resolution government policies imposing cutbacks on
prescription painkillers which came into full force around 2010 have been a
tragic mistake that should be completely rolled back to the period before that
before the imposed cutbacks against Sam Wynonna’s author of dreamland the true
story of America’s opioid epidemic then on Monday April 20th as we got to in
April how about that Monday April 20th the Mises Institute senior fellow Robert
Murphy will defend the resolution to promote a Christian vision of human
flourishing Christians should support free-market capitalism
against Reverend dr. Anthony Capello and the guest moderator will be Judge Andrew
Napolitano friend of the Trump administration you guys few of you guys
got that one all right I appreciate it and then I gotta tell you the one that I
am really looking forward to Sunday May 10th the resolution will read a
willingness to intervene and seek regime change is key to an American foreign
policy that benefits America and the world the great Scot Horton will be
debating against some fellow named William Kristol never heard of them
anyway anyway that was gonna be great bill kristol burr Scott Horton Sunday
May 10th that one is that a bigger that’s gonna be held at the new schools
Tishman auditorium because there’s just that’s a big draw obviously and then
Monday yeah it’s right well you were in your defense you were competing with the
State of the Union which I’m sure kept a lot of people at home Monday June 15th
it in orbs intercity CEO Rose area for Tongo I apologize to you already will
defend the resolution anonymous electronic vehicles will create a
reduced Jesus well this is why you’re supposed to get smarter
moderators autonomous electric vehicles will create a boost in personal freedom
and quality of life and will be commercially viable within a decade
against Eric Peters who is the author of automotive atrocities and Road hogs so
we got a bunch of good stuff and then finally Tuesday July 14th Rega Reason
magazine journalist Elizabeth Nolan Brown will defend the resolution all
laws prohibiting consensual sex work should be abolished against the National
Review journalist Madeline Madeline Kearns
so a whole bunch of fun stuff coming up here of course you go to V Soho forum
org for all the information on all of that stuff how are we doing uh are we
are we good we have the results in all right here we go someone’s getting a
tootsie roll all right for the resolution president Trump’s trade
related initiatives against China deserve broad public support to start
off that with the Prevot the affirmative got fifteen point zero five percent of
the vote that moved to thirty six point five six percent of the vote a 21.5 one
percent change whereas no started with 40 point eight six percent and also
moved up to fifty 8.84% a thirteen point nine eight percent chance
so that is a victory for of the affirmative so the to scroll the tootsie
roll goes to Stephen round of applause for both debaters


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