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Racing against the Clock—and China

May 13, 2015

As Chairman Ryan has said: “If we sit by and do nothing, then China will write the rules of the global economy, particularly in Asia, to China’s benefit. And that won’t be to the benefit of the American worker.”

This point was echoed today in The New York Times. They write that China is “setting up other trade pacts around the region so it can use its cash and enormous market leverage to strike deals more advantageous to its interests.”

China’s giant presence in the region gives it inherent advantages. China is currently “assembling trade agreements whose rules it can write by virtue of the huge size of its market.”

That is why trade promotion authority is so essential for the United States. Without American leadership on this front, we put the free enterprise system and the rule of law at risk.

In a recent speech, Chairman Ryan said: “Our rivals are playing for keeps. The Chinese are pursuing a lot of agreements. They’re talking to anyone who will listen—from South Korea and Australia to Norway. And it’s not free enterprise they’re pushing. Instead, it’s what they call ‘state capitalism’—which we all know is Chinese for ‘crony capitalism.’ They say, ‘Sure, we’ll take down some trade barriers. But we’re still going to force companies to store their data in China. And we’re still going to hand out sweetheart deals to government firms. And we’re still going to demand people fork over their intellectual property. And if you don’t like it, too bad.’ The Chinese are walking tall, and now other countries are following their lead: Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia—to name a few.”

The clock is ticking, and China is not waiting. American leadership in the world is at stake. If we don’t write the rules for the global economy, then China will.