By Justin Chermol
John Delaney, a 2020 presidential candidate and former Maryland congressman, said President Donald Trump bears a strong resemblance to China in his handling of the escalating trade war.
"In many ways, he's the mirror image of the Chinese," Delaney told Cheddar on Wednesday. "They don't sell a set of values, they don't sell kind of a global order if you will, they don't sell allies, they sell transnational relationships."
Delaney's comments come in the midst of an ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China. Last week, Trump raised tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports when negotiators failed to reach a trade deal. Larry Kudlow, the White House's senior economic adviser, told Fox News on Sunday that the increase would hurt "both sides," contradicting the president's own downplaying of the costs the tariffs will have on U.S. consumers.
"Trump ran on being the best president for [farmers], and in fact, he's been the worst president for them," Delaney added.
This week, the president pushed for a new bailout for U.S. farmers, which will devote a "small portion" of the tax levied from tariffs to that voting base. The administration had already put in place a $12 billion bailout program last year for farmers as a result of the ongoing trade war with China.
"Our farmers will be very happy," Trump told reporters Monday.
With an election just 18 months away, Delaney said that to garner support in the farm belt "you just point out how bad his policies are and how they are hurting people.”
Regarding his own trade policy, the Democratic candidate says he has a more comprehensive solution in confronting Chinese trade practices.
"You have to build a coalition of all the countries in the world, and our private companies, to have a unified front in dealing with China around the issues that actually really matter," he said.
Nonetheless, Delany found common ground with the Trump when it comes to the battle with China over telecom technology. "On this issue I don't disagree with him as much," he said.
Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday allowing the Commerce Secretary to restrict U.S. companies from using telecommunications and network equipment from "foreign adversaries," according to a statement from the White House. The order is believed to be directed at China and its telecom companies such as Huawei.
The executive order comes a day after Huawei chairman Liang Hua said the company is "willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments," including the United Kingdom.
"The question is how do we deal with the fact that they steal intellectual property. We cannot let that happen. And we have to build competitive alternatives," Delaney said.