Congressman Gary Palmer spoke at a town hall last week in Irondale about a number of issues that are impacting the country as well as the Jefferson County area. Palmer warned about the growing threat that China represents to United States interests.
“How many of you have cell phones,” Palmer asked.
“Cell phones all require rare earth minerals,” Palmer said. “80 percent of our rare earth minerals come from China.”
“Our fighter planes will not operate without rare earth minerals,” Palmer said. “70 percent of our microchips come from Taiwan, and I am worried sick that China is going to invade Taiwan.”
Palmer said that 20 years ago, we were most of the world’s biggest trading partner. Since then, it has flipped and two-thirds of the world have China as their biggest trading partner
“China’s greatest fear is being surrounded now they are surrounding us,” Palmer said. “China intends to dominate the world.”
“China is ahead of us in cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence, and hypersonic weapons,” Palmer said. “They have stolen most of that technology from us.”
Palmer said that the U.S. still has some advantages.
“China does not have the ability to project power like we do,” Palmer said. “They have just one aircraft carrier task force.”
“China has to import 50 percent of their oil,” Palmer said.
“They have twice as many naval vessels as we do,” Palmer said. “They have very capable fighter aircraft, again from technology stolen from us. China is working to advance their military forces.”
“I grew up in Hackleburg,” where textiles was an important employer, Palmer said. “Russell Athletic was in Alexander City. Fort Payne was the sock capital of the world. North Carolina was the furniture capital of the world. All of that is gone now .”
Palmer said that China is pushing us in kitchen cabinet manufacturing.
“We only have two major kitchen cabinet manufacturers left,” Palmer said.
“We became uncompetitive,” Palmer said. “Our corporate income tax rate was higher than in other nations.”
Palmer said that loss of jobs is “why people from rural areas are moving to more urban areas.”
Palmer said that he is “afraid we are going to see manufacturing leave us again” due to rising energy costs due to bad energy policy decisions by the Biden administration.
“Even though we withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords our carbon emissions decreased,” Palmer said. “We are just 11 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions. India is 13 percent and China is 33 percent.”
“They have no intention of cutting emissions,” Palmer said of the Chinese. “They are building two new coal-burning power plants every week.”
“There is an energy cost to everything,” Palmer added.
Palmer questioned the Biden administration’s energy policy decisions and expressed fears that those decisions would cause the U.S. to start losing manufacturing again.
Palmer said that China has a 100 year plan to dominate the globe and recommended the book: The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Pillsbury.
Palmer is in his fourth term representing Alabama’s 6th Congressional District.