Categorized | China, Politics

The Candidates Keep Slugging It Out On China, But Hypocrisy Abounds


Reposted from the Campaign for America’s Future blog


The Candidates Keep Slugging It Out On China, But Hypocrisy Abounds

Steven Cappozzola  |  October 15, 2012  |  Campaign for America’s Future

President Obama and Governor Romney continue to take to the airwaves with competing ads that claim each is tougher than the other in confronting China’s predatory trade practices.

In battleground states like Ohio, Obama has run television spots that tout the tariffshe imposed three years ago on surging tire imports from China.

GOP challenger Romney has also been trekking through Ohio.  On Friday, heblasted the Obama Administration for delaying a Treasury report (due today) that could have been used to formally designate China as a currency manipulator.

Romney has repeatedly promised to hold China accountable for its cheating by designating Beijing as a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency.  In contrast, the Obama Administration has so far refused to take such a step despite seven consecutive opportunities in semi-annual Treasury reports on currency.

Unfortunately for America’s manufacturers and their workers, there’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around.  While President Obama campaigned in 2008 on a strong pledge to tackle China’s currency peg, he has indeed failed to act on it, as Romney accuses.

However, Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) doesn’t have a very good track record either.  He had tough words at a campaign stop in Ohio this past weekend, lamenting the manufacturing jobs that America has lost to China.  Sadly, Ryan was among a small minority of Congress that did not support a China currency measure in 2010.  That bill, which passed by a strong, bipartisan vote of348-79, was intended to specifically address China’s ongoing currency undervaluation.

While Gov. Romney has vowed to tackle China’s currency peg, his real commitment on the issue remains in question.  Currently, a majority of the House has co-sponsored a new bill, H.R.639, “The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act,” including 64 House Republican cosponsors.  Frustratingly, House Speaker John Boehner has refused to let H.R.639 to come to the floor for a vote, though.

Boehner’s obstruction on the bill is extremely disappointing.  But it becomes all the more unfortunate because Romney has made no public comment on the matter.  As the current standard-bearer for the Republican Party, Romney could easily and publicly confront Boehner on the matter, and ask that the bill move forward.  But he has made no such effort.

And so the “China issue” muddles along.


19 Responses to “The Candidates Keep Slugging It Out On China, But Hypocrisy Abounds”

  1. Jim Schollaert says:

    Excellent points, Steven, about Ryan’s failure to support China Currency legislation and Romney’s failure to confront Speaker Boehner who is blocking the China Currency legislation from moving forward. These actions and failures to act by the GOP ticket speak volumes, as opposed to empty campaign rhetoric. But let’s not forget, Obama is no better.

  2. Joe Brooks says:

    Please watch:

    This is ridiculous. If someone wants to learn Chinese, it should be their choice, not the public schools and certainly not before a reasonable age, as determined by their parents.

    The Chinese government clearly wants Mandarin to become the primary language in the US, by teaching this to 6 year olds.

    • Jim Schollaert says:

      Nonsense. Six year olds and younger are learning English in China. And China is cleaning our clock because there are so many Chinese that speak fluent English, while so few Americans are fluent in Chinese.

      • Joe Brooks says:

        Jim, did you watch the video? The Chinese are using a very different method than the US, or any other country uses to help others learn English.

        Also, I can tell you very few of the 90,000 Red Chinese students here in our colleges speak fluent English. The universties they are attending all have crash courses in english for them, the summer before they begin. They are still mostly unintelligble, I live near a college with nearly 10% Chinese students. They drive brand new Audis with “Mao” on the license plate.

        As far as why Communist China is cleaning our clock, language has nothing to do with it.

        That is happening because we practice idiot “free trade’ while the Communists practice massive economic protectionism.

  3. Will Wilkin says:

    Hi Joe Brooks, I don’t think the Red Scare approach to China is the right way to look across the Pacific. The Cold War is over, and European philosophies like Marxism will never fully penetrate an ancient society with its own traditions. Look for a revival of Confucianism as more in the spirit of Chinese concepts of society and leadership.


    …the main reason Chinese officials and scholars do not talk about communism is that hardly anybody re­ally believes that Marxism should provide guidelines for thinking about China’s political future. The ideology has been so discredited by its misuses that it has lost almost all legitimacy in society. In reality, even the “communist” government won’t be conined by Marxist theory if it conflicts with the imperative to remain in power and to provide stability and order in society. For practical purposes, it’s the end of ideology in China. Not the end of all ideology, but the end of Marxist ideology….

    In China, the moral vacuum is being illed by Christian sects, Falun Gong, and extreme forms of nationalism. But the government considers that such alternatives threaten the hard­ won peace and stability that underpins the country’s development, so it has encouraged the revival of China’s most venerable political tradition: Confucianism.


    The framework of “Red China” v. the “Free World” (the implied second half of your concept) ignores the more historical (v. ideological) explanation of them that any large country or state will exert controls over their trade, commerce, and employment conditions as they modernize into large industrial powers, seeking political and social stability even as the economy revolutionizes. The ideologies underneath are all only mental models loosely reflecting the shapes of reality, none of them to be taken too seriously as literal truths. This ideological lightness is called pragmatism.

    The USA should be pragmatic in dealing with China, allowing them their sovereign right to govern their country as they choose. Instead of blaming our problems on China, and requiring changes by China as the solutions to our problems, we should become more like them in the sense of installing leaders who actually care about the overall development of society. I’m not asserting the Chinese leaders have any moral superiority over our own, but at least at this stage in their history their elited DO seem to be developing their country in a way that increases the general prosperity. Contrast that to the American elites, who seem to care nothing for the national interest, at least if defined as including the population itself. Instead we get elites who have staked their future as individuals and as a class not on the future of the USA but rather on the future of the global corporations they own. That is why the 1% have bought both political parties to write “free trade” laws and treaties that make the 1% rich by exporting the industries that once made America prosperous. Now our nation’s industrial ecosystem itself is being dismantled and shipped abroad, and as the future of our people is exported with the mfg industries, the American elites grow wealthier than ever before in history.

    Maybe the USA could use a little Confucianism ourselves.

  4. Jim Schollaert says:

    Joe, if you want to bemoan the flood of Chinese students invading American schools, I am with you. But teaching Chinese to Americans still strikes me as a good idea. How else to know your enemy.

  5. Joe Brooks says:

    Jim, I agree we should have the ability to undestand the language. Taught without a Anti-American agenda.

    What I am saying is that a Communist government, with a global propaganda plan and a stated goal of world domination, should not be allowed to place paid agents into US public school systems.

    The “educator” in the ABC piece says he does not get into politics. This is not politics, this is revisionist history, depicting Americans who came to the aid of South Korea as evil and died by the thousands, to free them from Communist murder and slavery.

    If Red China has it’s way all nations will bear a strong resemblance to North Korea.

    A few minutes search and you will find many folks who say this was shown to US children:

  6. Joe Brooks says:

    Jim, Will, many in the US government have been sounding the alarm on these issues for years:

    “Foreign spies have become much more common in America’s higher education institutions over the last five years, reports Bloomberg. The FBI says many of them are Chinese nationals.

    China alone directed 76,830 students to US universities in 2010-2011, more than any other country. The FBI says many Chinese researchers who have received an American education and started working in American companies do have a tendency to commit corporate espionage.

    China’s intelligence service deploys networks of freelance volunteer students and researchers to collect information wherever they study, do research or work, says David Major, president of the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Falls Church, Virginia and former FBI official.

    In addition, more than 3,000 Chinese false-front companies pursue new technologies directly on American soil, writes former CIA officer S. Eugene Poteat.

  7. Joe Brooks says:

    Will, I refer you to this, I strongly endorse this effort. I have seen it twice and had an eye opening experience at the showing at WSU.

  8. Joe Brooks says:

    Death By China Documentary

    My review, I was stunned by the aggressive presence of what appeared to be Chinese Nationals, pressing Professor Navarro with “free trade” propaganda, 9/11/2012:

    WSU hosted Peter Navarro and the documentary last night, amid much unrest by the Red Chinese students/activists attending there. The Chinese tore down the posters alerting interested parties as to the time and location of the event. Before the film started one of the WSU hosts came forward and said further intolerance of the film’s showing would not be acceptable and dealt with.

    Approximately 150 people attended, around 20 were from Red China. They behaved during the showing.

    As expected, the film delivered on the director’s premise of proving that US dependence on Red China for manufacturing, food, Federal loans, commercial and military electronics and US R&D is destroying the USA, as a viable country.

    He also points out that the multi national corporate influence over US politicians and the government is the root of this dependence on a mass murdering Communist country, where profits are of paramount importance, as long as the US companies are willing to give up all US patents and military secrets to the criminal Communist government of Red China.

    Upon arrival, with the signs torn down, a little difficulty locating the event would have been experienced, as the site had been moved by the president of the university at the last minute. I assume he was trying to avoid trouble. I checked shortly before going.

    The discussion panel after the film was supposed to be limited to 15 minutes, but a WSU professor named Hopkins, who was very pro Communist China and loved disastrous US unilateral “free trade” with the Communists, at our expense [300 Billion dollars/year] hogged all of the time remaining and no direct questions from the audience happened.

    Afterwards, I did get to speak with Professor Navarro, after stepping in front of an apparently Red Chinese woman who blocked the way for 15 minutes talking “free trade” propaganda, not allowing the 30 or so people behind her to speak with him. Most Americans are too polite to just move a Communist out of their way, but I was expecting these tactics. This allowed others to speak, as well.

    Foreign Communist activism in Dayton, Ohio is here.

    In response to my question; “What to do?” Professor Navarro stated that import tariffs and a national plan will have to be re-initiated to counter the Chinese and 150 other nations protectionism.

  9. Joe Brooks says:

    “Maybe the USA could use a little Confucianism ourselves.”

    Hey Will. I certainly agree that the elites running the US for the last 25 years are wrecking the country. However, I do not think we need to adopt any of the Eastern Civilization attributes of the USSR and PRC. BTW, Communism was created mostly by Asians and Eurasians. Stalin was an Asian, Mao was an Asian, being Asian is about your area of origin, not race.

    We need to return to our Western Civilization roots. Here it is:

    “The American School, also known as “National System”, represents three different yet related constructs in politics, policy and philosophy. It was the American policy for many decades, waxing and waning in actual degrees and details of implementation. Historian Michael Lind describes it as a coherent applied economic philosophy with logical and conceptual relationships with other economic ideas.[1]

    It is the macroeconomic philosophy that dominated United States national policies from 1789 until 1970 (after mercantilism and prior to Keynesian economics, it can be seen as a modified type of classical economics). It consisted of these three core policies:

    Protecting industry through selective high tariffs (especially 1861–1932) and some include through subsidies (especially 1932–70) and the advocacy of protectionism and opposition to free trade.

    Government investments in infrastructure creating targeted internal improvements (especially in transportation)

    A national bank with policies that promote the growth of productive enterprises. The privately owned Federal Reserve was not their intention.

    It is a capitalist economic school based on the Hamiltonian economic program. The American School of capitalism was intended to allow the United States to become economically independent and nationally self-sufficient.

    During its American System period the United States grew into the largest economy in the world with the highest standard of living, surpassing the British Empire by the 1880s.

  10. Will Wilkin says:

    Hi Joe, I agree that industrial espionage is a problem, but more than anything else again it is being caused by the US free trade policies allowing corporations to move their technologies offshore as more profitable than keeping them here.

    As for mass-murdering criminal govts, don’t be so quick to assume China is worse than ours. It would take several pages of text to list all the US military interventions on foreign soil since 1898. It would take a few pages to list all the ruthless dictators the US govt gave weapons, money and intelligence to. The US-led blockade of Iraq through the 1990s resulted in a million civilian deaths, not to mention the US deliberate destruction of the Iraqi civilian water infrastructure at the end of the first Gulf War.

    Your inability to mention China without calling them “Red” and often more sinister adjectives is a way of diverting responsibility for our problems away from our own leadership and onto a foreign bogeyman, exactly the kind of attitude that excuses our own elites who are looting our economy, and the attitude that keeps our country in a permanent militarist stance, bankrupting our Treasury by attempting global military domination -on borrowed money no less!

    I agree with you we need to return the “American System” thinking and policies, centered around concept of a national interest in building the industries that will be key to 21st century prosperity. I would add the need for a full employment policy and a strenthened Social Security as well as a National Health Insurance -these added points of an “American System” being necessary to democratize the prosperity we can revive if only we would drop the “free trade” and free-market mythologies and act like a coherent society of self-government in the national interest, that is, in the interests of the people of the USA.

    • Joe Brooks says:

      Will, agreed on all points except calling the Communists for what they are. I also agree our military adventures since 1990 or so have largely been misguided.

      “Your inability to mention China without calling them “Red” and often more sinister adjectives is a way of diverting responsibility for our problems away from our own leadership and onto a foreign bogeyman, exactly the kind of attitude that excuses our own elites who are looting our economy, and the attitude that keeps our country in a permanent militarist stance, bankrupting our Treasury by attempting global military domination –on borrowed money no less!”

      You must be new to the site, as I have addressed this issue many times in the past. The Oligarchs are definitely to blame, but you may not be aware that the USSR prior and then concurrently with the PRC have been peddling “free trade” influence here for 70 years. Essentially without the foreign influence of the LSE [founded by Communists] the Austrian School of Economics [founded by LSE Communists], Nathan Gregory Silvermaster and his group of spies, Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss and hundreds more proven USSR spies working as US economists, “free trade” would almost certainly would have never become the problem it is.

      Without question Communism is the most evil and murderous form of “governmet” to be inflicted on the human race, with the possible exception of the Asian Mongol Empire, at least on a population to murder ratio.

      If you have a Facebook account look me up and I can send you a PPT slide show of verified facts concerning the history of “free trade”.

      You can also read this and the comments:

      Communist Body Count: 149,469,610

    • Joe Brooks says:

      Will, here is something from about a year on this subject. I have managed to get some opinions in several newspapers 6 or 7 times over the last 4 years.

      This did not make it into a newspaper.

      Will, I agree with the bulk of your analysis, with some remarks.

      I would like to mention that promoting the industrial/manufacturing/agricultural base is not just a matter of profit, as has been mentioned in the past. Profiteering with no regard for the ripple effects on fellow citizens, the opportunities of future generations who are not elites/royalty, is the course of Communism, Libertarianism and Objectivism. These closely related unilateral US free trade “philosophies” have been hammered into us for decades, supplanting the American School.

      The fact is, most people are dependent on the wealthy and government regulation of the economy for a job. The Founders tried to set up a system that provided opportunity and upward mobility for all with a continually improving infrastructure. This included the folks who are not engineers, computer science majors, financial wizards, capitalized entrepreneurs, etc. They established free trade within our own borders. You pay no taxes between states to prevent the states from battling each other, economically. The real economy. They did this thru the Constitution and the Western Civilization based American School of Economics, injecting money, time, effort and protecting manufacturing that produced patents, civil progress, and things you can see and touch. Think of the Hoover Dam, NASA, the TVA, the Interstate Highway system, etc. Protectionism also ties investors and corporate interests to the success of the nation. This was a uniquely American concept is dependent upon a paternalistic/maternalistic attitude by the government and the wealthy controllers of any country, including the USA. I see little benevolence in the banking monetary scheme.

      If this attitude is missing, which is the goal of Communism, Libertarianism, Objectivism, Anarchism, Scumbagism, then that society degenerates into selfishness, greed and then street justice for those who were not born into successful circumstance or are unable to sociopath their way to prosperity. Romney’s territorial corporate tax plan comes to mind. Paul Ryan’s admitted love of Objectivist Philosophy and Ayn Rand, would of course include her stated goal of the destruction of Christianity and the American System of Capitalism in the US.

      I think we should all be American School of Capitalism pigs. There is nothing wrong with profit making, wealth creation, opportunity creation, building infrastructure, fun, as long as we remained within the limits [gasp-regulations] intended to make the place the land of opportunity for all. Which it clearly was, with some incursions by the Robber Barons, Communist spies, foreign lobbyists, etc. Was this perfect? No, but no other country has ever provided so much opportunity for citizens to come out of nowhere and succeed, whether you worked for someone else, or yourself. Besides, we already know this works, check out the first 180 years of the USA, also 150 other nations are practicing protectionism as we speak.

      We eventually and temporarily dealt with past issues because of the attitude discussed earlier. This time is different. The Red Chinese/Libertarians/Objectivists are not suddenly going to change their course and withdraw their foreign lobbyists and spies, the Red Chinese have murdered 70 million of their own, to get where they are. None of the other countries looting the US middle class thru free trade are suddenly going to become interested in US citizens’ welfare, either. Neither will any of them willingly return the means of production that have been outsourced, off shored and heavily enticed into their economies. So, it is up to the decent Americans left who still believe in the US to affect this return to our Founders original intent.

      MacArthur successfully transformed the Japanese into a form of the American School, check out his thoughts on Japan and Red China:

  11. Jim Schollaert says:

    Joe: Sorry but I do not see free trade as part of a communist plot. It has very clear roots in Anglo-Saxon free market capitalism. Our problem with China began when China moved away from communism in the economic sphere and got in bed with our capitalist financiers and corporations. Ideology, whether it be communist or anti-communist, is the enemy of clear headed analysis.

  12. Tom T says:

    I agree, Jim, but it was the Chinese govt. system and very poor economy that allowed corps to send their jobs to China instead of employing the labor force here. It really doesn’t matter what it is called, it is the reality of it that counts. I think you have that spot on. The bigger question, even bigger than trade policy, is how do we govern the new plutocrats for the benefit of society. They are so powerful they don’t have to follow the rule of law. We haven’t had any accountability in the financial sector and their losses became public losses with massive public dollar infusion to keep the old system that failed.

    Tom T.

  13. Will Wilkin says:

    Hi Joe, You are more interested in ideology than I am, I consider it dangerous in practically any form, from communism to AynRandian free market social darwinism, which seem opposite but what they all have in common is commitment to an idea to the point of making one blind to practical human conditions. I think it is better to wear our ideologies lightly and instead be guided by pragmatic values like caring about the community around us, and on a larger scale staking our future with the rest of the country as a national fate, and ultimately to use our national government to make prosperity and opportunity for all our people, and to conduct our diplomacy in a respectful and humane way, seeking peaceful and cooperative solutions to international issues as much as possible.

    The problem I have with your theory of free trade originating in communist and foreign spy designs to ruin America is it feels too paranoid and simplistic, discounting the political responsibility of the vast majority of the population for allowing the system to become what it is. It reminds me of those who blame Israel for our own one-sided approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict and the larger geo-strategic maneuvers that grow out of such a one-sided “alliance” with Israel. The Israel Lobby has out-of-proportion influence we read, and it even seems true -but in the end, it is only the American people and the American politicians who are responsible for our policies -be they Mideast diplomacy or free trade treaties and policies, they are made through the American political system that has been built by Americans and can be altered by Americans. It amounts to our need to take responsibility for our society rather than seeing ourselves as victims of evil conspiracies. The vast majority of government and corporate crimes happen right out in the open, “legally” through policy and commerce, knowable through public information. Blaming foreigners and spies and traitors takes away the need for self-criticism, for asking ourselves “what can we do better? What are we doing wrong?”

    As for the communist body count, one could compile a Christianity (or Muslim or Jewish) body count, a Capitalism body count, even a Romantic Love body count. Noam Chomsky has interesting things to say about a capitalism body count just in comparing the last 60 years of development in China v. India, where the Chinese have been much more successful in lowering mortality, extending life span, etc, thus yielding in India a very high capitalism body count.

    Whatever…..they are all an insight into how ideas and value systems (ideologies) can lead to inhumanity, even if the principles themselves were meant to improve humanity. Also there is inhumanity that comes out in lowbrow ways only later “justified” by whatever ideology is available, and thus not really caused by the ideas but only wrapped in them. When genuinely ideologically motivated, it means one has decided ideas are more important than the people dying. And really, any ideologue knows there have never been “true” communist or “true” pure market societies, neither ideology is up to the task of guiding our billions of specific decisions on how to improve the human condition. The “body counts” are propaganda that vastly oversimplify history in order to make an ideological point, usually against some other ideology.

    Perhaps this inadequacy of ideology is because underneath all our thinking and reasoning there is the natural world challenge of a growing human population that, like any other species, must find sustainable ways of providing all their needs in a complex interdependent ecosystem full of nature’s capricious and variable whims. Because our species has very much evolved into a social species with huge divisions of labor and interdependency and specialization, we come to depend on the success of the larger social system for the delivery of our own individual needs. Yet no social system will ever find perfect continuous solutions to that larger natural challenge of a huge population on a changing planet. The best we can do is try to be as aware as possible of whatever the current problems and successes are, and always be willing to adjust our thinking to be able to change our strategies when it will bring better results.

  14. Will Wilkin says:

    By the way Joe, I am spending all my words on our differences, but I think we actually agree on much about what needs to be done, ie, revive that American System you describe, and make a 21st century version of it for the new economic and ecological landscape around us. Also I agree very much with what Tom T is saying above about the need for America’s political system to reign in the oligarchs, which to me means we somehow re-introduce the concept of “national interest” into our policies, and, as Tom T says, “accountability” of leadership. And Jim says it well: “Our problem with China began when China moved away from communism in the economic sphere and got in bed with our capitalist financiers and corporations.” But again, it is not China that is the problem but rather the American Congress that made the free trade policies that create the incentives driving our industries offshore.

  15. Tom T says:

    Will, to your point on absolute ideology, we saw Russia dissolve its communist economy by selling off its industries and assets to insiders making an instant plutocratic class. If this is their move to capitalism, then the people living under those conditions are not much better off than when the state owned those industries. It has, however, opened the society at large to capitalism as a different system than the crony communism and its stringent rules that bound even the peasantry to it. They are marginally better off because of this but perhaps worse off because of the instant crony capitalism and plutocrats.

    Our system seems to be going to the billionaires over the millionaires (more plutocratic). Our government has bought the line that they are indispensable and the job creators and so taxpayers must save them and their perks. This, even as they ship jobs overseas to increase their personal wealth at the expense of the wealth of the nation and the majority of people in it. Free trade allowed this to happen at an astonishing rate. Breaking other laws with no consequence has assured their interests with economic concepts like barriers to entry. I was watching the “Sharks” last night just a bit and the top really knows how to look for these economic concepts to make above average profits.

    You are right that it is Congress that is selling loopholes and advantages to the plutocrats over the average person (carried interest is one of them). It is how politicians get their support and avoid the wrath that money can buy. Ultimately it is a manipulated and uninformed electorate (they may just be too busy to take note) that allows this to go unchallenged. It will continue until the pain is just too great to bear and a clear concise plan against it evolves just like this trade issue.

    Tom T.


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