Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) delivered a well-practiced speech on Wednesday blasting China for its virus response, and warning of the threat posed by Beijing's economic ambitions.
If Trump's China rhetoric is a 7, Hawley's is a solid 11.
"The international order as we have known it for thirty years is breaking. Now imperialist China seeks to remake the world in its own image, and to bend the global economy to its own will," Hawley warned, adding "Are we in this nation willing to witness the slow destruction of the free world? Are we willing to watch our own way of life, our own liberties and livelihoods, grow dependent on the policy of Beijing?"
Hawley also argued that China's "failures and lies" unleashed the COVID-19 pandemic onto the world, according to Axios.
He's also calling for the US to withdraw from the World Trade Organization, which he sees as an obstacle to American sovereignty.
His charge sheet against the WTO reflects White House talking points: US negotiators paid too much in past negotiations and got too little in return; competitive traders like China unfairly exploit rules to help poor developing countries; and the system for settling disputes is flawed with rulings that impinge on US rights and expand US obligations beyond what was agreed at the negotiating table. -Piie
Hawley accused China in a NYT Op-Ed of maintaining "protectionist workarounds" while stealing American intellectual property - which the US cannot contest due to restrictive WTO obligations, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
In his Wednesday speech, Hawley said that Americans cannot be both prosperous and secure in a world where China's influence and economic power have dwarfed America's due to unfair trade relations.