America’s trade deficit with China is so large it almost defies comprehension. Since 2012, our yearly deficit in the trade of goods with China has consistently topped $300 billion. Last year, it was over $375.5 billion. In the first five months of this year it topped $150 billion.

A primary reason for this imbalance is that the Chinese have been blocking American manufacturers and food producers for years through discriminatory trade rules and prohibitively expensive import tariffs designed to keep U.S. products out of its domestic markets.

It’s not that American firms are unable to compete with Chinese companies. Rather, it’s because China systematically takes measures to protect its industries and businesses from having to compete with American companies on a level playing field.