Gary Johnson on China
Governor Johnson does not view China's policies on trade or currency as a threat to the United States. He opposes US government interference in the market to offset Chinese government involvement in trade and subsidies. Ultimately, he beilieves that Chinese government intervention will only affect China negatively in the future.
In May of 2011, Governor Johnson participated in a debate in which he was asked about placing tariffs on Chinese goods to counter subsidies given to Chinese products by that government. Governor Johnson stated that he opposed tariffs under all conditions and that any person who truly believed in a free market must oppose such ideas.
Later that year on Fox News, Governor Johnson asserted that China was no threat to the US militarily as China spents 9cents of every military dollar spent in the world while the US spends 52cents of that dollar. He also asserted that he did not see China as an economic threat. The reasons for this were that he does not believe that a state run economy is sustainable and that eventually, their economy would suffer as a result of the government making poor market decisions. He noted that such effects were already being seen as China had the largest bubble in history in its commercial real estate market and 70% of its economy consisted of infrastructure spending within that nation. Some of this building had no purpose.
In a later interview with several colleges, Governor Johnson reiterated his previous points on China's economy, real estate bubble, and infrastructure spending. He also stated again that he beleived in free markets and opposed tariffs. This time however, he went further and stated that all people benefit from the lower costs of products produced overseas. He noted that the only people that would suffer in the end for China's market and currency manipulation were the Chinese people when the system collapsed as all government run economies eventually do.
South Carolina Debate
In May of 2011, Governor Johnson participated in the Republican primary debate in South Carolina. He is asked about a proposal to put a tariff on China and states that he does not believe in tariffs in any case.
Moderator: Governor Johnson, perspective Republican candidate Donald Trump has proposed putting a 25% tax on Chinese imports if China does not stop manipulating its currency. Do you agree with that? What would you do?
Governor Johnson: You know, I'm a free market guy. I think that you either believe in free markets or you don't. You either believe that lower costs of goods and services benefits all of us or you don't. So in that context, no I don't favor tariffs against China. I don't favor tariffs of any kind whatsoever.
Moderator: In any instance?
Governor Johnson: No
Fox News Appearance
In October of 2011, Governor Johnson appeared on Fox News and discussed a number of issues with Charles Krauthammer. He was asked about China moving into the pacific rim and US naval presence there. He states that US spending dwarfs China's when it comes to spending and that China has so many other problems with respect to its economy that it won't be able to match US military efforts.
In November of 2011, Governor Johnson was interviewed by Uncensored TV and asked about China's relationship with the US. Although the question itself is not completely audible, Governor Johnson's anwer is similar to previous responses. He notes that he opposes tariffs, that China's intervention into the markets will ultimately hurt them, that the US's spending still dwarfs China's and that China has some severe economic problems of its own.