Senator Tillis is continuing his election-year tough talk on China, joining other Senate Republicans “posing as China hawks” despite a long record being weak on China, according to a new report from Huffington Post.
Tillis has a history “of support for U.S. trade with China that [he is] now rushing to offset with hawkish positions.” As the report notes, Tillis voted against cracking down on China’s currency manipulation and against a measure that “levied tax penalties on companies that move U.S.-based jobs overseas.”
His campaign even tried — and failed — to show his criticism of China by sending a list of comments; however, as the report noted, “just two date to before Trump’s election in 2016 on an anti-China platform.” From the report:
In 2015, GOP Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Cory Gardner of Colorado voted against both a bipartisan amendment that would have made cracking down on currency manipulation a higher priority in U.S. trade policy and a bipartisan bill vesting the Customs and Border Protection agency with greater authority to enforce trade agreement compliance. (Many economists blame China’s policy of boosting the value of the U.S. dollar and suppressing the value of its own currency for artificially increasing the attractiveness of Chinese exports, thus contributing to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.)
That same year, both senators also voted against a Democratic-backed bill that would have enacted tax benefits for companies that create jobs in the U.S. and levied tax penalties on companies that move U.S.-based jobs overseas. (Daines likewise did not vote for these three measures.)
Now Tillis is touting his co-sponsorship of a bill incentivizing domestic production of personal protective equipment.
Tillis campaign spokesperson Andrew Romeo referred HuffPost to a host of comments from Tillis that criticized China’s human rights record… (Out of 15 examples that the campaign provided, however, just two date to before Trump’s election in 2016 on an anti-China platform.)
This new report underscores the hypocrisy from Senator Tillis on his newfound tough-on-China position. NCDP launched “Tillis Unmasked” last month to document how Senator Tillis’ election year tough talk on China is nothing more than political bluster to cover up his weak-on-China positions.
“Senator Tillis is still following Mitch McConnell’s orders, pulling an election-year about-face and attacking China after a long record of being weak on the regime,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis’ votes against cracking down on China’s currency manipulation and against penalizing corporations that move jobs overseas reveal that Tillis’ tough-talk on China is just that — talk.”