by Dick Hall-Sizemore
Gov. Glenn Youngkin has taken a tough stance toward the Chinese. He has prohibited state agencies from using the TikTok platform. He wants to ban the use of TikTok by Virginia residents under 18. He championed legislation prohibiting the sale of Virginia farmland to Chinese buyers. Finally, he scuttled the location of a major electric car battery factory in Southside Virginia because one of the owners was a Chinese company.
The Governor is correct in his concern about the Chinese government. That country poses a major threat to the United States. But let’s be honest — none of those actions will have any effect at all on the Chinese government.
If the governor wants to go beyond political grandstanding and issuing toothless edicts, he could take the next step: prohibit state agencies from purchasing anything made or assembled in China. The large appetite of American consumers over recent decades for products made in China was undoubtedly a major factor in the growth of its economy and power.
Granted, the loss of the Virginia government agency market may not be much more than a drop in the ocean of the Chinese economy. However, it would be a substantive step by the governor. He could also use his “bully pulpit” to encourage Virginia citizens and businesses to avoid buying and selling products made in China. Constitutionally, that is as far as he could go, but these steps would put some substance behind his calls of concern.