NY-11 Candidates Offer Stances on Trade War with China

Michael Grimm MIA On Tarriff Issue

Kings County Politics contacted and asked the major candidates running to represent New York’s 11th Congressional District representing Southern Brooklyn and Staten Island to weigh on recent developments that some are calling a trade war between the United States and China.

Congressman Dan Donovan

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R) offered the strongest support for President Donald Trump‘s levying of heavy tariffs on Chinese imports:

“Like President Trump, I made prioritizing fair trade a top issue in my campaign and fought successfully to block the bad TPP deal when I was elected. For too long, other countries have been taking advantage of weak leadership in the White House that has hurt American jobs. That changed when we elected a businessman to the Presidency, and I fully support his efforts. To break the status quo, you have to be willing to endure some pushback. We buy five times more goods from China than they buy from us, so while they may be rattling their sabers to inflict some short-term pain, they know they have more to lose and will be forced to come to the table to negotiate in good faith. We already saw progress in the negotiations after levying the tariffs. There is no mistake the world knows this White House means business and that’s exactly what’s needed to end these unfair imbalances. The result will be long-term economic strength,” Donovan said.

Donovan’s Republican primary challenger, former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, did not offer a response.

Max Rose

Max Rose, the Democratic frontrunner and army veteran of the Aghanistan and Iraq Warscredited Trump with addressing the decades-long trade imbalance with China, but made it clear that there was more work to addressing the trade deficit than just levying tariffs.

“For decades, politicians have said, ‘Trust us, trade will lift all boats’ and for those who lose their job ‘don’t worry we got your back.’ Well, they were wrong about the former, lied about the latter, and it’s hard working people in places like Staten Island and South Brooklyn who pay the price every day,” said Rose.

“I’m glad we’re finally getting tough with China, but let’s not kid ourselves that tariffs alone will solve this problem. If we don’t make real investments in the American worker and our crumbling infrastructure then the same people who are suffering because of China’s duplicity will shoulder the consequences for our failure to fix it,” he declared.

Michael DeVito Jr.

Rose’s primary opponent, Michael DeVito, a marine veteran of Italian and Native American descent, expressed similar sentiments, but was more directly critical of Trump’s handling of the matter.

“Like everything this administration announces, without a plan, this proposal of a trade war (the President’s own words) is reckless. That said, when a door opens for the opportunity to protect American workers, whose jobs are constantly shipped overseas, we must walk through it. Prioritizing American steel and aluminum will ultimately benefit our workforce,” said DeVito.

“We can and should use tariffs as a tool to this end, but with a measured, focused plan that benefits our country’s economy and workers rather than simply provoking hostility with another country,” he argued.

Both the Democratic and Republican primaries are slated for June 26. The general election is scheduled for November 6.