Opinion: COVID-19 ruined Donald Trump's economy, only he can rebuild it

Steve Cortes

Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump built a soaring economy. He proved that his pro-enterprise policies of smarter trade deals, restrained government regulation and tax relief created the conditions for both business and labor to thrive.

Middle-class Americans have seen higher personal incomes, in stark contrast to the slow-growth Obama-era expansion which favored the owners of assets while workers’ wages languished. Many Americans saw income acceleration for the first three years of Trump’s expansion, the economic underdogs saw the biggest share of progress. These American strivers prospered as blue-collar workers enjoyed faster wage growth than managers, workers with less education outperformed those with higher degrees, and Black workers saw their incomes rise.

Donald Trump can rebuild the economy after the pandemic's effects on the economy, Cortes writes.

Tragically, this flourishing economic awakening was halted because of the deception and malfeasance of the Chinese Communist Party. We now ascertain with certainty that the leaders of China knew very early of human to human transmission of the Wuhan virus outbreak. But instead of alerting the world, inviting in international help and sealing off that city, the CCP chose the exact opposite approach.

While we cannot rewind the clocks and correct the dreadful behavior of the Chinese government, we can choose, from here, how we rebuild America’s economy and how we interact in the future with Beijing.

Regarding the great economic revival, Trump stands ready as the entrepreneur-turned-political leader ready to create the Trump Boom 2.0. He continues to create confidence with strong action.

For example, he recently broke the legislative logjam of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by issuing powerful executive orders to boost the pay of those working through a massive payroll tax cut, and to provide ongoing relief to those still searching for work. Such robust action will further encourage the expansion that takes root in our land, as exemplified by recent data. For example, the job growth over the last three months now exceeds 9 million total new jobs. The recent ISM Manufacturing Index for July registered 1.6 percentage points higher than June as factories power back up. The great American rebuild commences, and does so with gusto.

But Kamala Harris and Joe Biden would pour cold water all over this nascent economic renaissance.  Carrying out promises to repeal Trump's tax cuts would increase tax burden on 82% of middle-income Americans and surely depress the now-burgeoning optimism that gains steam among workers and business owners.

On China, Trump boldly confronts the grave threat to our economic and national security. He has demanded fairness and reciprocity in trade, recognizing that the CCP mostly acts not as a trade partner, but rather as a trade exploiter. Through tough trade deals as well as significant sanctions imposed upon Chinese companies and political leaders, Trump makes it clear that the days of China abusing America are over.

In contrast, Biden has been a willing appeaser of the CCP for decades during his half-century in the Washington swamp. For example, he supported the effort to include China in the World Trade Organization in 2001 and grant them most-favored nation status in commerce with America. Over the next 12 years, per the Economic Policy Institute, America lost a stunning 3.2 million jobs to China. Our industrial heartland was especially hard-hit as factories closed and high-paying, family-sustaining manufacturing jobs flowed from places like Sheboygan, Wisconsin to places like Shanghai. Despite this carnage, then Vice-President Biden in 2011 had the temerity to claim that “a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and for the world writ large.”

It seems clear as America recovers from the massive damage of the global virus, that Trump presents the track record and policy approach to accelerate the needed rebuild of America’s economic engine. Alternatively, the Biden-Harris agenda would smash this renewal with confiscatory taxation and harsh regulatory burdens. In addition, Trump will remain steadfastly committed to protecting America’s interests from the abuses of the Beijing politburo. But Joe Biden would only acquiesce to the CCP and place America, once again, in a position of subservience to China.

Steve Cortes is senior adviser for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

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