Johnson Discusses Trade on ‘Squawk Box’

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and member of the Commerce Committee, appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” today to discuss U.S. relations with China.

Excerpts from the senator’s interview are below, and video can be found here.

“We've been in contact with a number of administration officials across the board. They're sounding more and more optimistic that they're getting close. They're kind of ticking off agenda item by agenda item and getting, I would call them cautiously optimistic, and from my standpoint that's very good news. We need to conclude these trade deals.”

“I realize what the administration is trying to do is reset the trading system around the world. We've been taken advantage of. China is the primary abuser: not following the rules, stealing our intellectual property from various means, including cyber theft and industrial espionage, so we’ve had to focus on them. … We have to conclude these deals to really bring certainty and stability to the American economy and to the markets.”

“One thing I'm highly concerned about is, what are we going to do in terms of [enforcing] China's theft of our intellectual property through cyber means and through espionage. I don't think those are really part of the negotiations right now.”