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JD Vance Resurrects Trump-era Attitude Towards Economic Decoupling From China

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: May 14, 2022
JD Vance is bringing back the best of the Trump era with calls to decouple economically from the CCP and bring manufacturing back to America.
Ohio Republican U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance speaks at a Trump-backed rally for Dr. Oz at Westmoreland County Fairgrounds on May 6, 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Vance is resurrecting the best part of the former Trump Administration’s foreign policy in an effort to win voters, calling to decouple economically from the Chinese Communist Party and bring manufacturing home to America. (Image: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Ohio Republican Senate challenger JD Vance has resurrected one of the best aspects of the previous Trump administration’s foreign policy: economic decoupling from the Chinese Communist Party.

On May 3, Vance, a Trump endorsement, won the GOP nomination to challenge Democrat candidate Tim Ryan for Ohio’s federal Senate seat in the upcoming 2022 Primary Election.

In a May 12 interview with Breitbart, Vance echoed concerns many Americans are feeling as brutal inflation and record diesel and gasoline prices are hitting where it hurts, “It feels sometimes like our leaders are just slowly allowing the country to slip into decline and sometimes it’s hard to see, and I think right now it’s very obvious.”

Vance used the opportunity to bring back to prominence one of the best and most crucial aspects of the previous administration’s foreign policy: America First and economic decoupling from the CCP’s state enterprises.

“We’re finding out the hard way with China—they make way too much of our stuff—when they shut down their entire economy, when they shut down the country as they’re doing right now, we become affected by that,” he stated.

Vance continued, “This is the problem with allowing other people, people who don’t really like you that much, to make all your stuff is they actually have you by the you-know-what when they decide to shut down their economy.”

“This highlights why we have to make our own stuff in this country.”

A made-in-China problem

The comments made by the GOP’s new star are not without their basis in reality.

May 13 reporting by South China Morning Post chronicled the plight of several mainland Chinese exporting businesses as they face cratering demand associated with truly draconian lockdowns from Xi Jinping’s blunderous “zero-COVID” policy.

A Jiangsu-based shipping agent surnamed Xu told SCMP that at Shanghai Port, described as “the world’s largest port in terms of container throughput,” their business operations “in the first half this year was so much worse compared with last year.”


Xu added, “The orders we got to Vietnam and Russia were fine. But the demand to Europe and the US has continued to decline.”

A second anonymous air shipping agent based in Dalian was likewise paraphrased by the outlet as stating “demand for customs declarations from Chinese exporters had dropped by 30-40 per cent this year.”

According to data from the China Passenger Car Association, Elon Musk’s Tesla reported a brutal 98 percent month-over-month decline in the number of vehicles sold in April resulting from the notorious Shanghai lockdowns.

Tesla was reported to have sold only 1,512 vehicles the entire month across the whole country.

Similarly, Bank of America sounded an alarm earlier in the month that S&P 500 companies such as Starbucks and Apple are reporting their China business has fallen to levels not seen since the pandemic began in 2020.

SCMP quoted data from the Freightos Baltic Index to state the spot market rate to ship a 40-foot container to the U.S. West Coast was sitting at $12,217 USD, a figure up 67 percent from last year.

Elite profit from America’s ‘managed decline’

Vance took aim both at President Joe Biden and “a lot of Republicans” over calls to reduce Trump-era tariffs on Chinese imports.

Vance, who is also endorsed by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), said Trump’s tariff campaign was one of the big reasons “you started to see…some of those companies, some of that manufacturing, some of that supplies, moving back closer to home.”

The candidate also said that a big question looms as America considers its next 30 years of economic development: “Are we going to commit to being self-sufficient and making our own things or are we going to continue to allow our entire prosperity to be held hostage by countries like China?”

“That is the issue and unfortunately far too many Republicans and of course the entire Democrat party that’s gotten rich off the way we do business with China, this is one of the things,” Vance levied.

“You know managed decline is bad for normal Americans but it’s actually pretty good if you’re one of the people who’ve profited from the decline.”

Breitbart reported the same day that U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Suzanne Clark had complained during a speech at the organization’s Global Forum on Economic Recovery that “this administration also inherited tariffs on nearly $400 billion of imported goods.”

“Make no mistake: Tariffs are taxes, and Americans are the ones paying them. Tariff relief should also be a priority for the Biden administration,” she added.

Clark continued, “China was one of 15 Asian economies that kicked off this year with a massive trade pact that tears down tariffs and other trade barriers across the region.”

“Once upon a time, our answer to China was the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Remember the TPP? Well, the U.S. pulled out, and now it’s the UK, Korea, Taiwan and—yes—China trying to join while we stand on the outside looking in.”

Vance continued, “We’re being led by people, many of whom have gotten rich by doing business with our biggest geopolitical foe, and they’re…not as worried about the lack of baby formula, they’re not worried about the fact that things are getting more and more expensive, of course, because they’ve profited greatly from what’s gone on.”

“We’ve got to reverse course,” he emphasized.

All eyes off Ukraine

Also on May 12, Vance spoke with Newsmax, where he weighed in on a level of involvement in the Russia-Ukraine War by the Biden administration seen by some as excessive, “My point is, and remains that, you can accept that what’s going on in Ukraine is a very serious tragedy at a personal level, while also thinking that the focus of American policymakers should be on the problems here at home.”

Vance said of the Biden administration, “They’re spending so much focus and the media is spending so much focus on Ukraine that they’re not talking enough about the inflation problem. We’re not talking enough about the border problem, and I actually think that Biden likes that because it distracts from his own failures right here.”