China claims to be the protector of global free trade and defender of a world trade system under attack by President Donald J. Trump.

This is the most outrageous claim in the history of Chinese propaganda, topping even Chairman Mao-era purple rhetoric of U.S. imperialist aggressors, paper tigers and running dog lackeys.

China is the most protectionist nation on earth. The Beijing régime uses high tariffs, buy-local requirements, government subsidies and outright bans on foreign ownership to develop national champion industries (“pick winners and losers,” anyone?) and cripple foreign competitors.

This is not free trade by any but the most twisted definition of the term.

Let’s go to the videotape and compare import tariffs in China and the U.S.

According to the World Trade Organization’s own statistics, China’s average tax on imports (tariffs) is nearly 3 times higher than the U.S. – 10 percent vs. 3.4 percent for the U.S.

It gets even worse than that.

China’s tariffs on imported metals and minerals are four times higher than the U.S. – 8 percent vs. 1.7 percent.

Its import taxes on wood and paper are 10 times higher.

In category after category, the picture is the same. U.S. tariffs on shoes and leather goods are 3.9 percent, China’s over three times higher at 13.7 percent.

Apologists for the disastrously rigged status quo say, “But America doesn’t need to sell shoes, we will export high value machinery.”

Well, China’s tariffs on machinery are seven times higher than ours, 8.4 and 8.9 percent for non-electrical and electrical machinery respectively, compared to 1.2 and 1.4 percent in the U.S.

When we read about China hitting American farm products with tariffs, the reports fail to mention that this is nothing new. Even before Beijing began targeting American ag with its latest economic sanctions, it routinely slapped a 14.9 percent duty on imported meat and a similarly steep duty (14.8 percent) on fruits and vegetables. America taxes these imports at 2.3 and 5 percent. Chinese tariffs on grains were over 23 percent – again, that’s before the so-called “retaliation.” (U.S. grain tariffs average 3.6 percent.)

And those lopsided numbers don’t tell the whole story: Nearly 40 percent of agricultural imports enter the United States duty-free. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Only about one percent of China’s ag imports get the same treatment.

Anyone looking at this record can see that it’s ludicrous for China to portray itself as the defender of free trade. China has hijacked and abused the global trading system with beggar-thy-neighbor policies designed to advance its own interests at the expense of everyone else.

President Trump inherited a system that was seriously broken. He had the courage to say what everyone knew – the Emperor of China has no clothes.

American-in-name-only global corporations and Wall Street financiers were all too happy to make a deal with the (Red) devil and exploit China’s cheap labor for a quick profit, no matter what the cost to our country and citizens.

President Trump is standing up for the forgotten men and women of America whose jobs, livelihoods and futures have been sacrificed to the false gods of globalism.

By demanding an end to Beijing’s serial violations of our own laws and international rules, President Trump is the greatest defender of free trade the world has ever known.

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