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PA Republican Candidates For U.S. House Weigh In On Potential Trade War With China

Trucks at cargo dock
Associated Press

Art Halvorson is one of eight Republicans running for U.S. House in the 13th Congressional district primary.

He said President Trump’s move to impose tariffs on some Chinese goods is “overdue.”

He said Trump is sending a signal to China — making it clear the United States is going to defend itself.

“We’ve been feckless and we’ve been weak," Halvorson said. "And when you send a signal that you’re weak, you create war and instability, international disruption. America has to be strong for the rest of the world to be strong.”

Halvorson said there is concern about the impact it could have on American farmers and businesses, but says if we wait, the cost to the country will be higher.

John Eichelberger currently sits in the state Senate. He’s also running for the Republican nomination for the 13th district in the U.S. House.

Like Halvorson, he said China is stealing American intellectual property.

But, Eichelberger said he’s not a tariff supporter. He says tariffs ultimately become a tax on Americans and could have ripple effects on trade agreements with other countries.

“There’s ways that we can approach it," Eichelberger said. "We can do things like treat them like they treat our companies. For example, when you go to China as an American company, you have to partner with a Chinese firm to do business there. They wouldn’t appreciate it if we made their Chinese companies partner with American firms to do business here.”

Doug McLinko is challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Marino in the 12th district. McLinko is a Bradford County commissioner and said he supports the president “100 percent.”

He said China is manipulating raw tungsten ore prices – something that effects workers in his area directly.

“Look we’ve got to do something because it isn’t working. We’re having farms close every day, there’s auctions, in our county and surrounding counties, and it’s sad," McLinko said. "We have to put America first. Without a strong America, the world crumbles."

McLinko said it’s time to take another look at trade agreements, including Nafta.

On Monday, Trump acknowledged that a trade dispute with China could hurt farmers, but said he would make it up to them and they will – quote - "be better off than they ever were."

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.
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