This morning, Senator Romney delivered his maiden speech on the floor of the United States Senate. He addressed the need for a strategy to confront the challenges China poses to the United States, and asserted that America remains the champion of freedom around the world. Below are excerpts from the Senator's speech:


Serving the People of Utah

"I have now met privately with 68 of my fellow senators. Like them, I came here in part because I believe my life experiences could help us confront our national challenges. I also believe that the values and policies practiced in Utah can inform national debates. Our state has the fastest job growth in the nation, balances its budget every year, and has the country’s most highly educated population.

"It is a great privilege to represent the people of Utah in the United States Senate. I’m humbled by the history that’s been made here, by the character of the patriots whose sculptures adorn the halls, and by the sacrifice made to construct the Capitol of the greatest nation on earth. To serve here is to be reminded hourly of the history and greatness of this blessed country."

China is a Rising Threat


"The decisions each generation of Americans makes, affect the course of history and profoundly impact our prosperity and our freedom. We face such decisions today.

"Eight years ago, I argued that Russia was our number one geopolitical adversary. Today, China is poised to assume that distinction. Russia continues its malign effort, of course, violating treaties, invading sovereign nations, pursuing nuclear superiority, interfering in elections, spreading lies and hate, protecting the world’s worst actors from justice, and promoting authoritarianism. But Russia is on a declining path: its population is shrinking and its industrial base is lagging. John McCain famously opined that Russia is a gas station parading as a country. And as it falls further behind, we must expect Russia’s inevitable desperation to lead to further and more aberrant conduct.

"Unlike Russia, China is on a rising path. When it was admitted to the World Trade Organization, the expectation was that China would embrace the rules of the global order, including, eventually, respect for human rights. It has done the opposite, imprisoning millions in re- education camps; brutally repressing dissent; censoring the media and Internet; seizing land and sea that don’t belong to it; and flouting the global rules of free and fair competition. And like Russia, China promotes authoritarianism and protects brutal dictators like Kim Jong Un and Nicholas Maduro.

"Today, we mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. That day, cries for freedom were brutally crushed. Since then, China has pursued a relentless course to smother the kind of hopes and dreams that filled that square thirty years ago.

"It is possible, Mr/Mme President, that China might someday experience a discontinuity or another uprising that will change its course. But barring that, because China’s population is almost four times our size, it’s economy should eventually dwarf ours. And because economic advantage enables military advantage, China’s military could eclipse our own. It is possible that freedom itself would be in jeopardy.

"If we fail to act now, that possibility may become reality."

"Industrial Policy" is China's Primary Weapon of Choice


"Today, so called “industrial policy” is the Chinese primary weapon of choice. China subsidizes a company by loaning it funds at sub-market rates, by forgiving loans, by providing free research and development, or by simply allowing it to use intellectual property stolen from others. Subsidy is even easier to hide when the company is owned by the government itself; there are 140,000 state-owned companies in China, accounting for 40 percent of its industrial assets.

"Profitability, return on capital, and repayment of debt are mostly irrelevant in such state-owned enterprises. They can employ predatory pricing, entering a foreign market by pricing a product well below its cost, driving domestic competitors out of business. When an American company does this, it is prosecuted under antitrust law. Proving a Chinese product is priced below cost is extremely difficult given the lack of reliable cost data.

"China’s industrial policies are killing and debilitating businesses throughout the world. I’m a free trade, free market guy, but free markets require rules to enforce honest competition. Slavishly accepting China’s cheating as a dynamic of free market competition makes no sense. The President is right to use tariffs to crack down on China’s theft of intellectual property. But when it comes to China’s predatory industrial policy, the cheating will not end. We will need counter it directly.

"Classically, a country has several tools to counter a predatory competitor. It can ban all or certain of its products. We did this with the Soviets during the Cold War. It can employ counterbalancing subsidies. It can require high levels of local content. And, of course, it can align with other nations to establish strict rules of conduct, which it then vigorously and swiftly enforces. All or some mix of these are needed.

"As we confront China’s aggression, we must also endeavor to convince it to turn back from the road of economic, military, and geopolitical conflict upon which it has embarked. Joining the other nations of the world in genuinely fair and free trade and in respect for the sovereignty of its trading partners and neighbors is very much in China’s, America’s, and the world’s interest. China is not yet a geopolitical foe, but its actions over the last several years have brought it right up to the line of being so."

America Remains the Champion of Freedom Throughout the World


"Bringing a nation of 330 million people together in a shared effort is a greater challenge these days than bringing two coasts together with a railroad. But now as then, national unity demands that the voices of leaders draw upon the better angels of our nature. They must call upon the distinctive qualities of our national character evidenced time and again in American history. We must reaffirm the principles of the Declaration of Independence; Jon Meacham said it well: “the greatest words ever originally written in English may be these: ‘All men are created equal.’”

"That founding conviction propelled America to become the greatest nation on earth. No people have done more to assuage poverty, to combat tyranny, and to advance the God-given right of every woman and man to be free. That is still our common cause, our enduring legacy, and our promise to generations unborn.

"Only America can lead that endeavor, but only with honor, with integrity, and with the combined strength of the friends of freedom will we succeed. America remains the best hope of earth and the champion of freedom. May God bless us with the courage and wisdom to keep that sacred trust."

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