The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)’s rocky relationship with President Donald Trump just took another turn. After criticizing the President for his first year due to slow movement of Section 301 investigations and the imposing of tariffs on China, it threw its support behind Trump when tariff plans were announced earlier this year.
But with one weekend tweet, the pendulum appears to be swinging back. The President tweeted he would begin negotiations to allow Chinese telecommunications company ZTE to regain access to the US market. The company had been hit with an export ban after violating trade embargoes with North Korea and Iran.
AAM President Scott Paul said comments in the tweet were “alarming.”
“In the middle of a trade dispute, the president is publicly offering a major concession to China that could potentially harm national security,” Paul said, adding that ZTE “has broken trade embargoes with Iran and North Korea, and generated legitimate security concerns.” Paul pointed out that in February, “the entire national security establishment advised American consumers to avoid products made by this company because it considers them beholden to the Chinese government.”
“Meanwhile,” Paul continued, “Beijing has yet to agree to end any unfair trade practice or make any meaningful reform. And Trump’s very capable trade team hasn’t made any discernible progress on the myriad trade irritants that are costing America jobs. Trump’s tweet on ZTE is indefensible.”