ICYMI—Hagerty Joins Kudlow on Fox Business to Discuss Biden’s Failed Trade Policies

April 3, 2024

NEW YORK CITY—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking and Foreign Relations Committees and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, today joined Kudlow on Fox Business live in-studio to discuss President Joe Biden’s failed trade policies with China, as well as the need to reimplement President Donald Trump’s policy of reciprocity to maintain a competitive advantage.

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Partial Transcript

Hagerty on the need for reciprocity in trade with China: “It solves so many problems. I mean, think about people complaining about the Chinese buying land here in America. Would we be able to do that in China? Reciprocity would solve that problem. If you think about it, we have the largest economy in the world. We also have the lowest trade weighted tariff barriers. We should be using our economy as a tool of leverage. We should be seeking reciprocity at every turn, and we don’t have it. You can go all the way back to World War II and think about some of the advantageous trade terms that we put in place following that war. We should have capped it in terms of time, or GDP per capita, by some measure. But we’re in a situation today where many countries have a much more advantageous trade set of tariffs than we do […] If you look at the deferential in those tariffs, it’s enormous. You can sell a car from America to Germany, and you’ll be encountering a 10 percent tariff. They can sell the car here; what is it? Two, two and a half percent? That’s not reciprocal. That’s exactly what President [Donald] Trump was aiming at, [which] is delivering reciprocal fair terms. Every American can understand that, and I think our counterpart should understand that too.”

Hagerty on the competitive advantage of the size of the U.S. market: “We can’t forget that we have a huge competitive advantage, and that’s the size of our market. And access to the U.S. market is a great leverage point for us as well. Tariffs is a means of controlling that, but also just denying access—and tariffs is a means of achieving that—but if you think about the other tools, the other market access tools that other nations use with their regulatory construct, etc., we need to be looking at reciprocity, again, to use the term that President Trump so aptly used. We need to be looking at reciprocity at every level.”

Hagerty on the need for the Federal Reserve to avoid politics and remain data driven: “It looks like partisanship to try to ensure that this current Administration stays in power. I think it’s a very precarious position to be in; they’ve got to remain data driven, as they’ve said, and Chairman [Jay] Powell needs to toe the line, and I think he’s held the line in [the] most recent conference.”