This is a question from an Inside US Trade reporter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer:
Q Yeah. Thank you, Ambassador. My name is Anshu, with Inside U.S. Trade. ... And then in a broader sense, on the use of 232, the President sort of said that he made the "economic security is national security" argument -- we need a thriving economy, strong manufacturing base.
My question is that, in the broader sense, if other countries start using that justification -- that economic security is national security -- and consistent with your view that Article 21 is self-judging, like what recourse would the U.S. have if other countries started imposing national security on tariffs on us? Thanks.
AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER: Well, I would say, first of all, I think every country in the world that sits down and thinks about it believes that economic security is national security. It's completely self-evident.
The only thing amazing to me is that it took, really, President Trump to put it in his national security objective. Every -- if you look, go back through the last President, every one of them fundamentally believed that. Nobody thought that our national security wasn't, in fact, based on our economic security. It's been true as far as you can go back -- and not just in the United States, with every other country in the world, right? I mean that -- that's -- there's a million quotes that all of us know with every major person that says that. So it doesn't surprise me.
This was a great question, and it doesn't seem like Ambassador Lighthizer really answered it. What are the chances that other countries will start applying economic/national security tariffs to U.S. products? How would the U.S. react if they did?