China is the cheater, and needs to change

President Trump goes over the top in his criticism of the media. In part because he generalizes, suggesting “the media” is a monolithic entity out to get him. We believe he would be better served using a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer to highlight media bias and errors.

And it would not be that difficult.

We noticed the other day that Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow spoke at a White House press conference. Among other things, he wanted to discuss the upcoming G-20 trade talks between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He faced at least one snide question about how supposed “free-traders” like Kudlow and Trump could engage in a “trade war” with China, with the U.S. utilizing such an outdated concept as tariffs.

A reporter living in reality might be more inclined to ask whether the administration believes it can get an economic cheater like China to actually change its ways. The question would put responsibility for the standoff where it lies — with China — while still questioning the efficacy of U.S. policy.

Trump and his advisers believe it is beyond time for China to open its markets, to stop manipulating its currency and to stop stealing intellectual property. They are 100 percent right. Trump’s tariffs levied against Chinese goods are far from ideal and not something “free-traders” want to see. U.S. farmers certainly have felt the pinch of Chinese retaliation against their goods.

But China does not engage in free trade or fair trade, and it has been given a pass for decades. China is the problem, not the United States. Every American should hope and pray that Trump succeeds in this trade dispute. His success would help the U.S. prosper in new, significant ways.