Biden Administration Considering China First Aviation Policy

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 12:10 PM

Authored by Ned Ryun via RealClearPolicy,

Despite all the controversy surrounding the Biden Administration’s bad economic, immigration and domestic policy, they’re wanting to go next level on their not-so-great-terrible-policies. Biden wants to put the interests of Chinese airlines before the interests of American ones. 

The Biden Administration is reportedly considering using the discretion they have to increase flights by Chinese airliners in and out of the U.S. Reuters reported last month that “in February, the U.S. Transportation Department said Chinese passenger airlines could boost weekly round-trip U.S. flights to 50 starting on March 31, up from the current 35, about a third of pre-pandemic levels. U.S. carriers were authorized as well to fly 50 flights per week but are currently not using all those flights.” U.S. air carriers can’t increase flights because they don’t fly over Russian airspace for obvious reasons. This situation gives Chinese air carriers, and other foreign carriers, a big competitive advantage because they are continuing to fly over Russian air space.

The Chairman and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party objected to this Biden Administration idea. They sent a letter on April 10, 2024, “we write to urge caution in the approval of new flights between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) until such time that the PRC abides by its existing bilateral agreement, and passenger demand begins to recover.” They argued that “PRC carriers are continuing to operate air routes at an anti-competitive commercial advantage that must not be allowed to increase without reciprocal parity in the number of U.S. carrier operated routes to the PRC.” They want to make sure that passenger demand, not the demands of the Chinese government, should be a factor; what a shocking concept. They also worry about the security of American passengers flying in Russian air space. 

There are estimates that U.S. carriers have been hit with $2 billion in annual lost revenues from flights because they can’t fly in Russian airspace. Foreign airliners have been using their advantage to fly more direct routes with lower fuel costs. This situation has prompted American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association and Association of Flight Attendants to sign a letter asking for this increase in flights to be stopped “until U.S. workers and businesses are guaranteed equality of access in the marketplace, free from the existing harmful anti-competitive policies of the Chinese government.” Seems like a reasonable request.

Members of Congress and everyone in the U.S. air industry think giving China a competitive advantage is a terrible idea, especially when they have been guilty of stealing American intellectual property (IP) and flooding the international market with subsidized mass-produced goods. Apparently, one must be senile to think any of this makes political or economic sense. Implementing an America First policy is what the American people want right now, and it is one reason why the smart money is on former President Donald J. Trump to return to the White House next January.

Let’s not forget that after Covid-19 hit, China stopped air service agreements with the U.S. and shut off U.S. carriers. The Chinese government imposed new limits on access and other regulations that discriminated against U.S. carriers that remain today. A strong response to these anti-competitive actions does not include rewarding Chinese carriers with increased access to U.S. markets. The same is not done for U.S. carriers operating in China. 

Fairness has been tossed out the window by the Biden Administration with this idea. Although it makes sense to allow the former bilateral agreement between China and the U.S., we can’t ignore the fact that China has a competitive advantage that should not be rewarded by the Biden Administration. 

Biden's China First policy, in addition to attempting to force Americans to buy an expensive electric vehicle by 2032 (likely made in China), is sending independent voters right back over to the Trump column this fall. The good news is that ideas like this are opening the eyes of the American people to the America Last policies being pushed by the Biden administration; in fact, so much so that even members of his own party in Congress are resisting allowing China to grab a bigger part of the aviation flight market share.

Ned Ryun is the Founder and CEO of American Majority.