August 11, 2020

Keep the Focus on China, Not Italy

By AIFC

Italy and the U.S. have a long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship, including economic, cultural and culinary ties. In fact, Italian food, particularly pasta, coffee, biscuits and wafers, are as much a part of the American way of life as they are in Italy! The bonds are strong and have weathered many a storm over the years – including a recent discussion on tariffs originating from the EU-Airbus large aircraft dispute.  

Fortunately, President Trump understands how important Italian-American businesses are to the economy and communities across the country. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released two retaliatory tariff lists and, thankfully, most uniquely Italian food products were kept off both times. Because he’s stood with the Italian-American community and not imposed any unfair tariffs, President Trump has been able to rightly focus on China.

President Trump understands the real, existential threat that China poses to America. It’s no secret that China is trying to dominate the world militarily, technologically and economically, and the subsequent consequences for America would be significant and long-lasting. Fortunately, by imposing and threating tariffs on key products, President Trump has shaken the Chinese Communist Party. His focus is well-placed and warrants an unwavering focus.

For the sake of America’s future, President Trump needs to stay focused on China. It will take a united, concentrated effort to overcome this global challenge – that’s why the Administration should continue to avoid tariffs on key allies, such as Italy. Rather, taking steps to strengthen economic ties between the United States and its long-standing allies will promote continued growth and investment – particularly by Italian companies that have invested significantly in America.

This week, the USTR is releasing a new list of EU goods that will be tariffed as a part of this airplane feud. Simply put, Italy shouldn’t be punished for the illegal behavior of France and other European countries. Not only that, but focusing on China is a mission that’s critical to America’s best interest – we cannot afford to dilute this pursuit by hitting a longtime, key ally.

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