Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during an interview on Sunday that Americans need "to accept the pain" that comes from President Donald Trump's tariffs in order to "get China to change."
What impact are the tariffs having on Americans?
In addition to drying up the multibillion dollar Chinese market for American goods like sorghum and soybeans, U.S. tariffs have also increased the cost of products made with steel and aluminum. This has led to an increase in the cost of products sold in the U.S., from farming equipment to household appliances like washing machines.
U.S. companies that import goods from China (or other countries hit by U.S. tariffs) have also been forced to pay for these tariffs directly. In order to compensate for this new cost, the prices of the goods hit by the tariffs has often increased.
These costs have led the federal government to give American farmers nearly $30 billion in emergency aid.
On Aug. 21, Trump did not deny speculation that his tariffs could cause a small recession, saying instead that "somebody had to take on China."
What did Graham say?
"Consumer prices on commodities are gonna go up," Graham admitted to CBS "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan. "We're now to that part of the trade war where you feel price increases at Walmart."
Mentioning that Trump had suggested he would delay additional tariffs until Dec. 15 for the holiday shopping season, Graham said that he would tell Trump "Mr. President, listen. You've got more bullets than they do. They sell us a lot more stuff than we sell them. And the goal is to get them to change their behavior.
"The Chinese government, the Chinese army, and the Chinese business community are one and the same. They're very mercantile. You don't have these suffused among democracies. But the Chinese communist party runs everything in China, until they feel the pain they're not going to stop."
China does sell substantially more merchandise to the U.S. than it gets in return. Last year, the U.S. imported $540 billion worth of goods from China and exported $120 billion to China, a $420 billion disparity. This trade deficit, which Trump often cites as one of the reasons for his trade war, was up from $375 billion in 2017 and $347 billion in 2016.