On Episode 70 of War Room: Impeachment Stephen K. Bannon, Jason Miller, and Raheem Kassam talked about China at length, discussing tariffs as well as the trade deal currently in negotiations.
“I don’t think right now we have a real understanding of even what the deal [with China] is,” Bannon said.
“I think you’re right,” Miller backed his co-host. “We have, for the longest time, been talking about the fundamental trade relationship of the U.S. and China and that the U.S. does nothing when it comes to the structural reforms. Our industries of the future: AI, biotech, robotics, aeronautics, semiconductors – we will not be the world players in the way we are now in twenty years. That’s what’s driving this overall trade effort by President Trump: trying to get more access to the Chinese markets for our financial firms.”
“There was talk of this ‘skinny deal’…where the Chinese purchase more commodities, more agriculture from us and allow some access by U.S. financial firms – or more access – into the Chinese market. Which again, the devil is always in the details.” Miller noted how many are calling for a rollback on tariffs, but “that is our leverage point” when it comes to China.
“You see coming out of Beijing this morning basically crickets,” Bannon added. “There’s been no recognition, nothing in official Chinese media to ascertain this.”
“I happen to think this is another announcement of an agreement in principle, which you haven’t seen this validated by the Chinese. The devil is going to be in the details here,” Bannon reiterated Miller’s remark. “Particularly the enforceability. This looks like it’s a rollback in tariffs potentially for massive increases in agriculture purchases. That’s going to be about the enforceability. People are saying now, you’re going to have to see the details.”
Bannon highlighted he believes “President Trump is going to have to sell this. I was on CNBC yesterday pretty adamant about the fact you can’t trust the Chinese. But I think if this deal is at least structured the way it is, President Trump’s going to have to go out and make a pretty big deal about trying to sell this.”
“I want to put this in context,” Miller said. “Right now, the tariffs that President Trump put on China to go in and effect this economic behavioral change… None of these were in place when Obama was in office; none of these were in place when Bush was in office.”
“This is a fundamental shift,” Bannon explained. “One of the reasons we’re having this impeachment is President Trump’s kind of reordering of the world economy around the industrial democracies; and to break this Chinese model, that the elites in this country shipped all the manufacturing jobs to China. This is why President Trump won up in Michigan, and Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. This gets to the heart of it.”
He continued: “President Trump came in with a policy that every Republican economist disagreed with. It turns out Donald Trump was right and they were wrong. Tariffs work.”
The former CEO of the Trump campaign then shifted his focus to how tariffs have effected Chinese economy. “Not only have we broken the back of the Chinese, their growth rate is really at zero. If you read the financial press they’re having nothing but a wave of debt collapses, failure to repay bonds in the tens of billions of dollars, as their phony economy starts to crater as the Americans have finally stopped kowtowing to them. That is one hundred percent Donald Trump. Trump has been right, and the jobs report shows he’s been right.”
“This is why NAFTA is so important, the USMCA,” Bannon emphasized, “January 1st the new Japan deal kicks in. Donald Trump has looked at trade as a centerpiece to reorganize the American economy back to manufacturing. It’s working. And that’s why the Chinese are so adamant about rolling back these tariffs.”