July 20, 2020

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

Below is a letter signed by conservative leaders on the issue of China’s continued destruction of our economy and our forests.

Due to their widespread and institutional deception, China has crippled the health and wealth of the United States via their initial coverup of and delayed response to the Coronavirus. Now, they have the opportunity to expand the plundering of our pockets that they’ve been engaged in for decades, unchecked by our leaders in Washington. 

As conservatives, we can’t allow this to continue. President Trump has showed leadership going after China on their many attacks on the U.S., but he needs our help. 

A new proposal has been put forth by the bureaucrats at the U.S. Forest Service – led by Senator Lisa Murkowski—who President Trump has vowed to campaign against, as she voted against HealthCare, Justice Kavanaugh, and much else. The proposal would eliminate the “Roadless Rule” and allow expansion of the logging industry into publicly owned lands in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Unbeknownst to many, China is the largest importer of lumber products from the Tongass National Forest. Moving ahead with this proposal would only stand to benefit the country that has devastated our economic prowess. 

China cannot be allowed to profit while America suffers. 

As you know, trade tensions between the United States and China are at an all-time high with many experts labelling it as the budding of a new Cold War. An unused weapon in our arsenal to retaliate against the Chinese would be to ensure that they are not able to buy our lumber for their profits, stopping our government in the process of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into an industry that yields little in return for our country. 

Further, last week, Chinese government officials advised their major agricultural corporations to halt in the process of buying American agricultural goods, disrupting the already tenuous Phase One trade deal between the U.S. and China. China continues to stymie our economic growth time and time again. The Chinese government never ceases to exploit America, treating us like their own personal handmaiden colony, buying only when they want, and demanding product to fit their needs. We cannot allow them to control our markets nor our forests. 

According to the well-respected watchdog organization, Taxpayers for Common Sense, our government, on average, subsidizes the logging industry in the Tongass National Forest to the tune of $30 million every year to only fulfill the market demands of China. If more of the beautiful forests of the Tongass are subjected to logging, China will be the only one to profit, and on the backs of U.S. taxpayers. How does this even make sense?

The Chinese have no problem with destroying our lands so they can reap the rewards. We allow them to buy our raw log exports for their own use, exports that ravage our fertile forests, all while providing American subsidies for the logging industry that comes straight out of the hardworking taxpayers pocket. 

The conservative support in the state of Alaska for lifting the Roadless Rule is few and far between, as prominent conservative polling firm Baselice & Associates, which has previously polled for the Trump/Pence campaign, surveyed Alaska voters in January of 2020 and found that an overwhelming 74% of those surveyed agreed with the following statement:

“Our national forests belong to all of us, not large corporations and their lobbyists. We need to protect the Tongass National Forest to ensure that future generations can enjoy the freedom and peacefulness they provide, not sell them off for profit.” 

Of those polled, 31% were registered as Republican, 15% registered as Democrat, 23% as Undeclared, and 16% as Independent. Sixty-one percent of those polled identify as frequent hunters and/or fishermen, with 15% asserting that they hunt/fish several times a month/on a monthly basis. Of those who hunt/fish monthly or more, a strong plurality, (48%), voiced opposition to lifting the Roadless Rule protections of the Tongass National Forest, with only 32% approving. 

We must stand up to this blatant misuse of government spending and hit China where it hurts. Our leaders must recognize this opportunity to assert our power over China by not enabling them to destroy more of our lands for their profit. 

We must take action now and maintain the Roadless Rule protections—protect America’s taxpayers and lands from additional Chinese destruction. 

The current Administration must uphold the ‘Roadless Rule’ protections of the Tongass National Forest to thwart the insidious efforts of China and promote American prosperity. 

Sincerely, 

Ed Rollins
Reagan White House Political Director
Chairman, Reagan 1984 campaign
Co-Chairman of Great America PAC

Craig Shirley 
Ronald Reagan biographer & presidential historian

Brent Bozell 
Media Research Center

Richard Viguerie 
ConservativeHQ 

George K. Rasley Jr.
Former Assistant Director of the U.S. National Park Service

Bruce Eberle 
Eberle & Associates 

The Honorable JD Hayworth 
Former Arizona Republican House of Representatives Member (1995-2007)

Craig Keshishian 
Former Reagan White House Aide 

Martha Boneta
Vote America First 

Frank Donatelli
Former Reagan White House Political Director

Kathleen Patten
American Target Advertising

Kenneth Blackwell
Former, United States Ambassador
United Nations Human Rights Commission

James Hooley
Former Reagan White House Senior Assistant
Former George H.W. Bush White House Political Advisor  

Gary L. Bauer
American Values
Former Reagan White House Under Secretary of Education & Chief Domestic Policy Advisor

Tony Perkins
Family Research Council
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

The Honorable Governor Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas Governor (1996-2007)

Mark Fitzgibbons 
American Target Advertising