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{Empty title} | The Nation

The time for academic debates about the direction of trade policies has long passed. If we once had the luxury to discuss and debate how to be fair to working people, that time ended with our first trillion-dollar yearly federal deficit.

We need leverage in trade talks. Import taxes with increases laddered monthly would provide that leverage.

Let's be clear. China relies on US markets to sustain its own economy. China holds trillions in US debt, which could become worthless. In our relationship with China, it is we who have the upper hand.

Moreover, China owes us--big time. We put it on the global economic map. We should begin to act like the most powerful nation on earth and tell the Chinese government, "We're imposing an import tax that will graduate and remain in place until our trade with you is in equilibrium. Love, Uncle Sam."