Ohio Republican Senator, Rob Portman, has given an interview in which he shared his views on the current situation between the United States and China. On Monday, both countries’ presidents, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, announced their plans on raising trading tariffs. Products worth billions of dollars will now be more expensive to trade with.

As these tariff changes announcements negatively affected the stock market, president Trump said in his press conference that he hopes a new trade agreement with China will be reached at a G20 meeting. The next G20 meeting will take place in Japan in late June.

Trump defended his decision to raise tariffs by predicting it would ultimately have a positive effect on US farmers and manufacturers. The president expects many manufacturers will leave China due to high tariffs. In his own words, due to the government getting tens of billions of dollars, the White House will use some of it to subsidize farmers whose exporting may suffer.

Portman’s Views

Senator Portman, who was US Trade Representative in George W. Bush’s administration, believes this is the right approach. The Senator supports being tough on China, because, in his view, they’ve stolen US technology and intellectual property. She believes there is a trade imbalance between the two countries which the Democrats left behind. Raising tariffs is not a finishing line, rather a means to get there — Portman sees it as a great tactic to force the Chinese into an agreement.

However, Portman is worried that without a new agreement in place and continuous tariff raises, both economies will suffer. A lack of agreement can hurt the US economy, affecting jobs, wages, and ‘everything else.’

Asked if he’s optimistic about an agreement taking place at this June’s G20 meeting, Portman had a negative response. In his eyes, it’s too soon for both parties to find common ground, and he thinks this meeting will come early.

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