Steve Forbes: Tariffs may hurt China, but they hurt Americans as well

Forbes' media chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes joined FOX Business' "After the Bell" on Friday to discuss China stealing trade secrets.

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He argued, however, that tariffs are possibly not the best way to punish China for these actions.

"Putting on sales taxes, which is what tariffs are, on American consumers and American businesses may hurt China, but it hurts us as well."

- Steve Forbes, Forbes' media chairman and editor-in-chief

He noted the recent indictment of a Chinese national who worked at Monsanto on economic espionage charges as a better form of retribution.

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"You find the perpetrators, you punish them," Forbes told FOX Business' Melissa Francis.

"Until President Trump came into office, enforcement was rather sporadic, so the key thing is you go after the bad people and there are various ways to punish them."

- Steve Forbes, Forbes' media chairman and editor-in-chief

Forbes said punishing the individual offenders isn't enough and it should extend to the government as well.

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"Take one of the state-owned banks, if you deny them access to the SWIFT [Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication] system, they are toast. They are done," Forbes said. "So, you have a severe punishment for that kind of government sanction thing, and you can hit the government in various ways through hitting their banks, hitting state-owned companies, as well as the individuals."

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Forbes suggested uniting with American allies like Europe and Canada can present a united front against China and could have a significant impact.

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