CHINA'S DIRECT THREAT TO AMERICA'S TERRITORY

By Curtis Ellis:

Beijing is  'the largest state sponsor of illegal fishing'

America’s national security is dependent on our economic strength. This is a precept of the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy.

America’s economy is under attack from Chinese economic aggression – and so is America’s territory.

China mounts cyber-espionage attacks against American companies. China’s state-owned industries dump products at below-market prices to undersell American companies. China bars American imports with sky-high tariffs and preferential treatment of domestic companies.

All of these illegal practices target American industries for extinction.

Now China is targeting American territory with state-sponsored illegal fishing fleets.

The Chinese government “funnels billions of dollars in subsidies to its distant water fishing industry,” says Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation fisheries subcommittee.

That makes China the largest state sponsor of illegal fishing.

While China’s other predatory trade practices have gotten attention, it’s wholesale piracy of fish stocks is no joke – it is a direct threat to American territory, sovereignty and national security.

Beijing funds industrial-scale fishing fleets that strip-mine the world’s seas, stealing American fish and violating international conservation provisions meant to preserve fisheries.

The South Korean coast guard opened fire on Chinese fishing vessels illegally fishing off South Korea’s shores in the Yellow Sea.

Argentina’s coast guard sunk a Chinese trawler that was fishing illegally within Argentina’s territorial waters.

In June, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a Chinese vessel that had netted 80 tons of Alaskan salmon using illegal drift nets. Alaskan fishermen report that foreign fishing fleets regularly attempt to poach in American waters.

China is overfishing our waters and killing American jobs (as well as fish) in the process. The U.S. fishing industry accounts for $250 billion annually, and it’s being speared by a number of predatory trade practices, including outright piracy.

China is a major shrimp exporter, and illegal shrimp imports threaten our domestic shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. China uses dangerous antibiotics banned in the U.S. in its shrimp farms and routinely mislabels seafood to avoid import quotas and taxes.

Illegal fishing is also connected to human trafficking and modern-day slavery, with foreign fishing crews often kept on board ships at sea for months at a time in poor and exploitive conditions, according to an official with the U.S. Agency for International Development. “Our experience has shown that [illegal] fishing and human trafficking have common drivers.”

China’s illegal fishing and seafood imports are a threat to America’s territorial integrity, free markets, human rights and environmental sustainability.

Everyone who cares about any of these issues should support President Trump as he confronts China over its consistent and serial violation of international trade practices.

President Trump understands more clearly than any previous president that America’s national security is inextricably tied to the strength of our domestic industries. The connection is clear with our fishing industry.

Protecting our fisheries is about more than preserving American jobs and companies, though that would be enough.

It’s about protecting America’s sovereignty and territorial waters.