Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) called for a ban on United States investments in strategic Chinese industries on Monday evening during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Cotton delivered his speech as part of the Reagan Foundation’s Time for Choosing Speaker Series, where Republican politicians address fundamental questions about the Republican Party. Cotton touched on the threat the Chinese Communist Party poses to the United States, President Joe Biden’s failed foreign policy, the crisis at our southern border, and education during his speech.
While speaking about China, Cotton called the country’s entrance into the World Trade Organization “one of the single worst mistakes of this generation.”
Indeed, both parties are complicit in one of the single worst mistakes of this generation: granting Communist China permanent Most Favored Nation status and admitting it into the World Trade Organization. Now China is our most dangerous enemy. Since then, China’s economy has grown 12 times over. China is now the largest exporter in the world and controls over a quarter of global trade. It’s done so by waging a brutal economic world war.
Cotton called out the Chinese Communist Party for committing “every economic crime in the book,” including “product dumping, intellectual-property theft, illegal subsidies, economic espionage, currency manipulation, even using slave labor.”
“No country has been harmed more by China’s crimes than our own. China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 began a hollowing out of America’s industrial base, economy, and working-class,” he said.
He went on to call for an end to our economic reliance on China.
In the name of security, fairness, justice, and prosperity for our people, it’s time to end our economic reliance on China—and decouple our supply chains. But decoupling is not enough. We ought to ban U.S. investment in strategic Chinese industries and encourage reshoring of U.S. factories and jobs—and punish off-shoring to China. Further, we need to scrutinize and regulate Chinese investment in America much more closely.
Cotton also called out Biden for “recklessly” withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and his “weakness” regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Just last year, Joe Biden recklessly withdrew from Afghanistan, throwing away two decades of American sacrifice. He abandoned hundreds of Americans and thousands of brave Afghans who fought alongside us. Our Afghan allies were left at the mercy of barbarians. President Biden’s incompetence cost us thirteen brave American troops and humiliated American power before the world. Yet he called the debacle an “extraordinary success.
Cotton said that Biden’s weakness towards Putin led to his “unprovoked, naked war of aggression.” “If Joe Biden won’t make him pay, the Republican Party must,” Cotton said.
“We will never accept a new Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe,” he added.
On immigration, Cotton called for an end to chain migration in favor of a move towards a skills-based admission system.
We must reform our legal immigration system by ending chain migration, which allows a single migrant to bring in extended family members, who in turn do the same. When so many impressive and highly skilled foreigners yearn to immigrate, it’s both unfair and unwise to admit new immigrants solely because of ties of blood. We should allow immigrants to bring their spouses and minor children, but that’s where the chain should end. We should replace chain migration with a skills-based system that selects immigrants with valuable skills, English-language ability, and the like.
Cotton also said the United States needs to mandate E-verify to prevent illegal immigrants from working in the country.
“I know that globalist CEOs who complain about American workers will protest this policy, but here’s my answer: invest more in American workers, pay them more, and treat them better,” Cotton said. “The days of importing their replacements must come to an end.”
Cotton also attacked the “Democrats and their bosses in the teacher’s unions” for masking school children and promoting critical race theory.
“On behalf of America’s parents, the Republican Party should make clear that shutdowns and mask mandates will never return, and our kids will get back to normal,” he said.
For years, our kids have lagged behind in basic achievement. Now, radical activists are shutting down AP and gifted-and-talented programs because they don’t like the racial mix of students in them…
These same radicals who can’t teach our kids to read or do long division would, however, teach them to have contempt for their parents’ beliefs and customs. They indoctrinate our kids with their extremist theories about race and sex. They preach that America is racist and that we should be ashamed of our country.
“We’ll remove Critical Race Theory from our schools and teach kids to venerate our Declaration of Independence and Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream,” he said.
Sen. Cotton’s full speech can be viewed here.