American Manufacturers and Consumers Funded Chinese Military Buildup

By Michele Nash-Hoff

Major retailers and thousands of small businesses face a bleak holiday season without Chinese goods to sell because of the long line up of container ships from China waiting to enter major ports to offload their cargo. 

It seems like Americans have to learn lessons the hard way.  During the early stage of the COVID pandemic, there was a serious shortage of masks, ventilators, and other PPE equipment and supplies because we had become dependent on China for these goods. Now, American consumers are experiencing shortages in common consumer products at retail stores, and manufacturers are facing long lead times for components, ICs (chips), and other parts and assemblies. These shortages are projected to get worse before they improve sometime in 2022.

We have become dependent on goods from China over the past 20 years because American manufacturers outsourced manufacturing to China save money and increase their profits. Then, they set up their own manufacturing facilities in China even though they had to submit to transferring their technology to Chinese partners in order set up their plants.

American consumers contributed by choosing to buy cheap Made in China goods instead of supporting fellow Americans through “Buying American.”  The combination of American consumers choosing to buy “Made in China” goods and China’s mercantilist policy of dumping products at prices below cost destroyed thousands of small American manufacturers. More than 60,000 manufacturers were driven out of business in the past 20 years because of the unfair mercantilist policies of China.  This made it more and more difficult for American consumers to find products “Made in USA” to buy.

As a result, our trade deficit with China escalated from $83.8B in the year 2000 to a high of $418.2B in 2018.  Out deficit dropped to $344.3B in 2019 and down further to $310.2B in 2020 because of the effect of the Trump Administration’s tariffs on certain goods.  Our 2021 trade deficit with China runs at $260B through September, so may exceed 2020.

A November 12, 2019 article titled, “China’s Grand Plan To Take Over The World” in Forbes, by John Mauldin states: “In The Hundred-Year Marathon, Michael Pillsbury marshals a lot of evidence showing the Chinese government has a detailed strategy to overtake the US as the world’s dominant power. They want to do this by 2049, the centennial of China’s Communist revolution.”

Mauldin comments, “Xi’s vision of the Chinese Communist Party controlling the state and eventually influencing and even controlling the rest of the world is clear. These are not merely words for the consumption of the masses. They are instructions to party members.”

He adds, “Over the last 20–30 years, we have equipped the Chinese with almost everything they need to match us, technologically and otherwise. Hundreds of billions of Western dollars have been spent developing China and its state-owned businesses.”

A slide show titled “China wants to rule the world in these industries” reveals the following industries China is targeting:  “ Global logistics and infrastructure, Steel, electric cars, Cobalt mining, rare earth minerals, autonomous vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, Additive manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things, Advanced Robotics, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Green energy, smart phones, 6G communications, Semiconductors, Biotech, satellite navigation and digital mapping, Orbital space station construction, Orbital telescope construction, Lunar exploration, Mars exploration, Venus exploration, Jupiter exploration, Asteroid sampling, comet exploration and more.”

Without the transfer of wealth from the U. S. to China, none of this would even be possible. The Chinese Communist Party has used the wealth our manufacturers and consumers sent them to build a military second to none.

It’s bad enough that we transferred production of goods to China, but in the past few years, we have also been allowing Chinese companies and individuals to buy American companies, real estate property and farmland.  We didn’t allow the Soviet Union to do this during the Cold War, so why are we allowing China?

In an article published October 13, 2021 titled “The Biden administration lacks a coherent China policy,” Peter Morici states: “President Joe Biden has identified China as the pre-eminent international competitive challenge confronting America, but his administration appears distracted and lacks a credible policy.”

It’s not enough to recognize China as the major international competitor.  We must recognize them as an enemy to our democracy. If we ignore this threat and do nothing about it, we will reap unpleasant if not catastrophic consequences.

In an article titled “Americans vanquished, China triumphant: 2021’s hit war epic doesn’t fit Hollywood script” in The Washington Post of October 16, 2021, Christian Shepherd comments “War epics showing the victories of the People’s Liberation Army have become increasingly common and studios often work closely with the government and army to ensure that their films fit with the official narrative of events.”

He explains, “The Battle at Lake Changjin” was commissioned by the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party and made with support from the central military commission and local governments in Beijing and the Hebei and Liaoning provinces.”

He cautions, “However, unlike films made in the early days of the People’s Republic, the emphasis of recent features is less about aiding North Korea and more about resisting America, a shift in tone that scholars suggest reflects Beijing’s growing focus on national security in its confrontation with Washington.”

The movie was released on September 30th and “broke $667 million in ticket sales within two weeks, making it already the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year worldwide.”

The success of this movie suggests to me that the Chinese public are just as eager for a rematch with us as their military. Considering that our military leader's priority is now being woke-compliant, it’s a strong possibility that our military would be defeated with thousands of casualties thanks to the ”free-trade” supporters that sold our government leaders on the "benefits" of transferring our wealth to China in return for cheap goods from China.

I am concerned that China’s saber rattling in the South China Sea is a prelude to the invasion of Taiwan. Instead of facing a third-world military like we did in the Korean War, our service members will be facing a technically advanced enemy, who can match us weapon for weapon. What if our causalities reach such an unsustainable point that we are forced to sue for peace? We could be faced with recognizing China's dominance over the Pacific and giving up Hawaii to China as part of a peace settlement.

It’s time for all Americans to wake up to the danger of continuing our dependence on goods from China.  We must decouple our economy from China’s economy, change our trade policies, and rebuild our manufacturing base to the point that we are self-sufficient. There is no simple solution, but I spent several months writing my book, Rebuild Manufacturing – the key to American Prosperity, published in 2017 and available on Amazon.  My book outlines how to rebuild American manufacturing through reshoring, new trade and tax policies, and workforce training and development.  Now, it’s not just time to create prosperity; it’s time to save our national sovereignty and freedom.