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Lindsey Graham: 'Accept the pain' of the U.S.-China trade war

POLITICO logo POLITICO 8/25/2019 By Kamran Rahman
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Video by CBS News

Sen. Lindsey Graham acknowledged on Sunday that Americans would have to “accept the pain” caused by the Trump administration’s trade war with China, but argued the U.S. maintains the advantage.

“The Democrats for years have been claiming that China should be stood up to. Now, Trump is, and we've just got to accept the pain that comes with standing up to China,” the South Carolina Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “How do you get China to change without creating some pain on them and us? I don't know.”

The senator and key Trump ally suggested China will try to drag the trade war out through the 2020 elections.

“I think they’re trying to wait Trump out," Graham said. "I think they've made a calculation that our elections are right around the corner. They can play this game to 2020.”

Lindsey Graham in a suit standing in front of a building: Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of restricting his ability to head the panel by intentionally stalling committee work. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of restricting his ability to head the panel by intentionally stalling committee work.

Still, Graham asserted the Trump administration has the ability to pressure China, directing his comments toward the president.

“Listen, you got more bullets than they do," Graham explained. "They sell us a lot more stuff than we sell them ... the goal is to get them to change their behavior.”

“Until they feel the pain," he said, "they're not going to stop.”

How much pain might his home state of South Carolina face?

“Some," Graham acknowledged. "Consumer prices on commodities are gonna go up. We're now that part in the trade war where you feel price increases at Wal-Mart.”

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