The globalists talked the U.S. into supporting this cozy trade relationship with China by getting American manufacturers and farmers to salivate at the prospect of gaining access to the world's biggest market. China, on the other hand, joined the WTO to implement its plan to grow into an economic superpower. It wants to accomplish this the same way the United States became powerful in our pre-New Deal century -- by protecting local industries and financing our government with tariffs on imports.
Somehow, China learned the "Animal Farm" lesson: All are equal in the WTO, but some are more equal than others. China enhanced its WTO membership with special breaks and loopholes that allowed them to sell slave-manufactured goods worldwide but protected its own industries from foreign competition.
The result? China sells microwave ovens for $49 in the United States, but the U.S.-built Jeep Grand Cherokee sells for $85,000 in China because the Chinese add tariffs and other fees to original U.S. prices of $27,490. Since only a few Chinese millionaires can afford such a luxury, fewer than 2,500 have been sold in China this year.
The 25 percent tariff is only one reason why the Grand Cherokee costs three times as much in China as in the U.S. China also imposes a sales tax of up to 40 percent of the price, based on the car's size, and it also gives generous subsidies and extraordinary regulatory favors to state-owned companies.
Should U.S. companies retaliate by building their own plants in China? China limits foreign manufacturers of auto assembly plants to only 50 percent ownership and requires U.S. companies building plants to give China its U.S. patents and trade secrets.
China was admitted to the WTO after promising to accept its rules about free trade. But as the lawyers say when you end up disappointed by a contract, you should have read the fine print.
The fine print in China's WTO agreement was in an attached document euphemistically labeled an "accession agreement," which gave China status as a "non-market economy" and spelled out thousands of details about special preferences for China. China was allowed to impose higher tariffs than other countries and ever since has protected its auto industry by a prohibitive tariff on imported cars. By contrast, South Korea's tariff on imported cars is 8 percent, and the European Union's is 10 percent.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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