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When China Cheats, America Loses

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 23/03/2016 Ron Klink
CHINA HACKING © Bill Hinton Photography via Getty Images CHINA HACKING

The results coming out of recent primaries demonstrate clearly that voters favor strong presidential candidates who will stand up for American workers and fight to keep us safe. As Democratic and Republican candidates shift their attention to upcoming contests they will all want to show voters how strong they are in standing up to China, Russia and other powerful regimes that don't share American values.
President Obama has stated publicly that communist China is a "global free rider." China profits on the back of American hard work and innovation. At the same time, Chinese President Xi Jinping and communist leaders sanction cyberattacks against the United States, stealing our trade secrets, weakening our national security and job hacking American workers. Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai defends job hacking and these indefensible attacks against American workers.
In 2015 alone, over 3,300 American aluminum workers lost their jobs as a result of China job hacking. Thousands of U.S. aluminum jobs remain under threat as the Chinese government continues to provide illegal subsidies to state-owned aluminum producers such as -- interest free loans, free government land, debt forgiveness and subsidized energy costs. This has resulted in the price of aluminum collapsing. Alcoa Aluminum was founded in my former congressional district in the town of New Kensington. The research center that has developed innovative products from beverage cans to auto and aeronautical parts that are lighter and more resilient than anything in the market place were discovered there. Yet New Kensington is now practically a ghost town. High crime, drug use and prostitution are now rampant where American dreams and American jobs once flourished.
House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) recently called for an in-depth U.S. government study to examine illegal Chinese subsidies. Such a study will take 18 months or longer to complete. While this is a step in the right direction, thousands of hard working American aluminum workers, can't stand idly by for 18 months as China continues to destroy the U.S. aluminum industry.
There are a wide range of possible trade remedies available to help save thousands of American aluminum jobs, that will have an immediate impact. Our government needs to stand up for American aluminum workers and explore all short-term solutions that will solve the problem.
President Xi Jinping and the political elite in Beijing have responded to this price collapse by doubling down on Chinese aluminum production. As the Chinese economy continues to slow down, domestic aluminum producers have ramped up production by over 70 percent in the last four years alone.
Worse still, American national security interests are now under serious threat. Many Americans are unaware that high purity aluminum is one of the key components that is needed to make U.S. military hardware. In late 2015, the last remaining U.S. high purity aluminum smelter announced that it was reducing production by over 60 percent and 400 hard-working Americans lost their jobs.
Have our political leaders failed to realize that if this facility closed we would be relying solely on China or a Middle East regime to provide us with much needed high purity aluminum? The United States could soon be relying on communist China to produce the high purity aluminum that forms the skins of our fighter jets and goes into the body armor that is used to keep our troops safe. Is it in the best interests of American national security to be relying on communist China or a Middle East regime for a precious metal that we need to produce our exclusive military hardware?
China's economic slowdown and financial mayhem is fostering a cycle of decline and increased uncertainty across the globe. In the last few months, the aspirational communist regime constructed man made islands in the South China Sea. Now, China is aggressively asserting itself in a region through which more than $5 trillion of world trade is shipped annually.
In February 2016, a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of these disputed islands in the South China Sea. The influential Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times said that the United States was "circling to contain" communist China and that China's military has ways of stopping such patrols. The government run newspaper argued that China needs to spend more on its armed forces and build up strategic strength to counter the United States.
Time and time again, Chinese actions indicate that it wants to become a militaristic superpower with a strong grip on the flow of $5 trillion worth of trade in the South China Sea. As the Chinese economy continues to slow down and internal political stability forces the government to crack down on human right activists we should ask our presidential candidates' one simple question. Does it benefit U.S. national security interests to become reliant on communist China for precious metals needed to produce military hardware that helps us to promote democratic values in the South China Sea?
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and all our presidential candidates talk tough about China. Actions speak louder than words. Now is the time for our presidential candidates to stand up to a rising communist China, stand up for American workers and fight to keep us safe. If you doubt what I am saying, come with me to New Kensington, Pennsylvania.

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