Biden: ‘It never occurred’ to Trump to take competitive stance on China

President Biden argued that it never occurred to former President Trump to take a competitive stance against China, while rolling out a slew of actions Wednesday intended to protect the U.S. steel industry from Chinese exports.

Biden was in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the United Steelworkers headquarters touting the new actions, which involves him calling on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to consider tripling the existing 7.5 percent tariff rate on Chinese steel and aluminum imports.

The president also said to boost competition with China, he has revitalized partnerships in the Pacific with countries including India, Australia, South Korea and the Philippines, and he has advanced technologies that can’t be sent to China in order to protect U.S. national security.

“For all this tough talk on China, it never occurred to my predecessor to do any of that,” Biden said.

“The bottom line is, I want fair competition with China, not conflict, and we’re in a stronger position to win the economic competition of the 21st century against China or anyone else because we’re investing in America and American workers again,” he added.

The president also argued that Trump and Republicans are wrong with their rhetoric that China is a country on the rise.

“Trump simply doesn’t get it,” he said.

“America is rising. We have the best economy in the world, which we do, and since I’ve come to office, our GDP is up, our trade deficit with China is down,” the president added.

Biden said he has asked other world leaders if they would trade places with China, and discussed with them how Beijing has “got real problems.”

The president threw other punches at Trump throughout his speech, notably criticizing him over job creation and taking a jab at Trump’s schedule this week. The former president was sitting in a New York City courthouse on Monday and Tuesday for the jury selection process for his hush money case.

“So far, we’ve created 15 million … new jobs, a record in a term of a president, 492,000 new jobs so far in Pennsylvania alone. Under my predecessor — who’s busy right now — Pennsylvania lost 275,000 jobs,” Biden said.

Biden is on a three-day swing around the critical swing state, which he won in 2020. The president currently has a 0.2 percentage point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, according to Decision Desk HQ and The Hill’s polling average.

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