Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy will lay out his trade platform on Thursday, presenting it as a declaration of economic independence from China, according to a draft of his remarks shared with The Post.
Ramaswamy, 38, plans to lay out a four-point plan to counter the Chinese Communist Party through “a pro-trade approach to sensible disengagement from China” that he says will balance economic issues with national security concerns.
Several Republican primary opponents have expressed a willingness to combat China’s aggression through tariffs (most prominently, former President Donald Trump), but many have expressed an aversion to upsetting ongoing trade relations with Beijing.
The biotech entrepreneur says his trade-focused approach is the only “serious” attempt among Republican candidates and will “modernize the Reagan Doctrine” by shifting its emphasis from “peace through strength” to “prosperity through peace”.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy will outline his trade policy to declare economic independence from China in a speech on Thursday.ZUMAPRESS.com/MEGA
Ramaswamy plans to lay out a four-point plan in a speech at a plastic manufacturing plant in his home state of Ohio to counter the Chinese Communist Party through “a pro-trade approach.” POOL/AFP via Getty Images
The unlikely candidate’s platform appears to be based on a loud clip from the first Republican primary debate last month, when he declared: “The climate change agenda is a hoax.”
According to Ramaswamy, the issue “has nothing to do with climate but with allowing China to catch up with the United States” economically, as Beijing’s greenhouse gas emissions remain much higher than those of other developed nations.
“To declare independence from China abroad, we must first declare independence from the climate change agenda at home,” he plans to say.
That would involve reversing subsidies enacted by the Biden administration for electric vehicles and solar panels, which even members of the president’s own party like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) have criticized as a handout to China.
Several Republican primary opponents have signaled openness to combating China’s aggression through tariffs, including, most prominently, former President Donald Trump.REUTERS
The “EV agenda worsens dependence on China for rare earth minerals and mineral refining capacity,” Ramaswamy will argue. “When American taxpayers subsidize electric vehicles, American taxpayers subsidize the PCC.”
Ramaswamy’s plan also involves turning to countries such as India, Brazil and Chile to import rare earth minerals, many of which contain reserves of lithium needed for semiconductors, an essential component of many electronic products.
The second point points to last year’s passage of the CHIPS Act, which he calls “a boondoggle” for having boosted renewable energy initiatives while ignoring steps to secure semiconductor supply chains.
Ramaswamy would support rolling back subsidies approved during the Biden administration for electric vehicles and solar panels, which have been criticized as a handout to China.
To prevent China’s economic dominance over semiconductor manufacturing, he will suggest “open trade relations with South Korea, Japan and other nations that provide access to the US market for their own semiconductors to compete with domestically supported US semiconductor manufacturers.”
Ramaswamy also pledged, in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the U.S. military to defend the island, where most semiconductor production takes place.
“I am the only presidential candidate who has been very clear that we will defend Taiwan, at least until we have achieved semiconductor independence, at which point we return to the current American posture of strategic ambiguity,” Ramaswamy told The Post in a interview.
Asked if that defense would involve deploying US troops, he said: “We will defend Taiwan to ensure that China does not successfully consummate its invasion.”
Ramaswamy’s second point points to the passage of the CHIPS Act last year, which he calls “a boondoggle” for having boosted renewable energy initiatives.
His third plan would end the U.S. military’s dependence on China for strategic materials and limit foreign entanglements, including the war in Ukraine, which he said has “exacerbated the shortage of our military reserves.”
Ramaswamy’s opposition to American security assistance for kyiv has put him at odds with other Republican candidates, almost all of whom have expressed outright disapproval of his views.
Finally, Ramaswamy will pledge to cut off the “China-driven pharmaceutical supply chain” to the United States and instead promote “domestic offshoring and stronger trade relations with Israel, India and other countries.”
Asked whether that defense would involve deploying US troops, Ramaswamy said: “We will defend Taiwan to ensure that China does not successfully consummate its invasion.”
“It is not unthinkable that the same nation that unleashed hell on the world with a man-made laboratory virus, and that now supplies synthetic fentanyl precursors to Mexican drug cartels that use it to combine other pharmaceuticals with fentanyl, in a conflict “This scenario uses the poisoning of the legal pharmaceutical supply chain to unleash greater hell on the United States,” he will say, referring to the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths caused by opioids in the last years.
“I don’t think we should fund Chinese research institutions,” Ramaswamy told the Post when asked about U.S. funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which conducted risky gain-of-function experiments with bat coronaviruses and is considered a possible origin of the pandemic.