Tuesday, former U.S. Senator and current Senate candidate Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, addressed the Houston County Republican Party on a conference call. Sessions is running in the Republican Party primary runoff election on July 14. Sessions addressed our relationship with China and said that China “needs to shape up.”
Sessions claimed that China lied about the coronavirus pandemic, a claim recently made by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“They cannot lie about a pandemic,” Sessions said. “They don’t tell the truth. They are a Communist regime.” Communists don’t tell the truth. They lie when it suits their agenda.
“They have got to be held to account,” Sessions said. “China must have our markets, but we can buy products from wherever, we can make them at home.”
“We have the leverage,” Sessions said of President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate trade agreements with China.
Sessions said that President Trump, “Restricted their rights to sell in our markets by placing tariffs,” on Chinese goods imported into this country. Sessions said that that policy helped get China to negotiate in good faith on the preliminary round of trade negotiations signed in January.
“Tariffs have been part of the world since George Washington and Alexander Hamilton slapped tariffs on goods coming in from England.” Sessions said. “My opponent says he is a 100 percent free trader. That is a Wall street elite agenda. This is not a sustainable solid policy. It is not a Trump policy. It is not a policy in the best interests of the working people of Alabama.”
“A lot of rich people in China want to buy Mercedes made here in Alabama,” Sessions said. “They made Mercedes buy their batteries in China even though they have a battery plant here.” China forces companies to share their technology with them. That is not free trade.
“We need to reset that relationship,” Sessions continued. “We need to be able to say that we won’t buy your products if you don’t shape up.”
“We are not dependent on China. China is dependent on us,” Sessions said.
Sessions answered several questions including one submitted by the Alabama Political Reporter. The U.S. national debt is $24.2 trillion and interest on the debt is $382 billion a year. Are we at a point where dollar devaluation and hyperinflation is simply inevitable at some point in the next 5 to 10 years and there is nothing Congress can do about it given the partisan divide currently in D.C.?
Sessions said that we pay $382 billion a year in interest with artificially low interest rates. If we see an increase in interest rates then, “We could be spending more on interest rates than defense.”
Sessions said that he was the Ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee when the Democrats had the majority in the Senate.
“They would not even pass a budget,” Sessions said. “We led that battle and it became a huge issue in the election.”
“I have been there in the fight,” Sessions said. “There has not been a crisis yet,” but if we keep adding to the debt there could be one.
“Before the virus we expected to bring in $3.6 trillion in revenue and spend $4.8 trillion for a deficit of $1.2 trillion.” Then the virus hit and we passed one package to deal with it and then another $2 trillion aid package. “The deficit could increase $5 trillion in one year.”
Sessions said that is not against the aid package. Without it, “We could go into a deep deep recession. I hope we can get through this tough time. One of the problems I am hearing is that it is difficult to come up with a plan that fits all businesses.”
“A lot of people are getting help right now,” Sessions said But what we are doing, “Has to be reviewed again to make sure that it is actually doing what we wanted it to do and keep those business alive.”
Houston County Republican Party Chairman Brandon Shoupe thanked Sessions for joining them on their conference call.
Jeff Sessions praised Alabama Republicans for working hard and donating money to his past campaigns. “They never ask for anything, but to do a good job.”
“I grew up in Alabama, I came out of the dirt in this state, I was educated in this state,” Sessions said.
“The single institution capable of preserving this Republic is the Republican Party,” Sessions said quoting the late William F. Buckley. “I became a Republican in high school. Mary and I founded the Republican Party in Huntingdon College. I was in the Republican Party at law school at the University of Alabama. I was Chairman of the Young Republican Federation of Alabama. I served on the state executive committee. You need somebody who shares your values.”
“My opponent never gave a dime to a single candidate, never made a political speech to my knowledge,’ Sessions said.
“It has been very frustrating that we can’t get out and travel,” Sessions said. “It would be my honor to represent you in the Senate again.”
The winner of the Republican primary runoff will face Sen. Doug Jones (D-Alabama) in the November general election.