China-bashing is the wrong trade-policy strategy – Jean-Marc F. Blanchard

From The San Francisco Chronicle (link):

There is no doubt that the Chinese government retains certain trade barriers, takes steps that protect its firms and industries against American ones and does an inadequate job of protecting intellectual property.

Nevertheless, China has made significant progress in opening its markets and leveling the playing field. This is clearly evidenced in reports generated by the U.S. trade representative as well as the Government Accountability Office. Moreover, China is continuing to make progress in fulfilling the obligations it incurred when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Aside from the need to acknowledge that China has made progress, it is important to recognize that there is far more to the American trade deficit with China than Chinese trade barriers. For one, many of the goods that the United States formerly procured from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries are now manufactured in China. Thus, the American trade deficit with Asia has become almost exclusively one with China. Furthermore, while many factors are involved, the huge federal government deficit of more than $8 trillion helps to sustain an inflated dollar that hobbles American exporters and gives Chinese producers a competitive advantage.

See also “Why we shouldn’t fear China” from the Globe and Mail, and “Bush’s trade policies favor China, not U.S.” from the Salem Statesman Journal.


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