The China Syndrome

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For many years, while living in South Carolina, I was one of the most vocal anti-protectionism Republicans around.  I thought the issues around NAFTA and protecting local textile jobs were a joke.  It wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve begun to see that we do have a very real problem in this country.

The problem was not the protectionism, but the fact that we failed to understand how big business operates.  Like all business, it is about the bottom line.  It is about making money.  There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with making money, or having a nice profit.  It is a good and honorable thing.  The problem comes when the drive to make a profit begins to take on unethical proportions.

As soon as NAFTA was passed, the very companies and textile manufacturers who were fighting to prevent it, embraced it.  The argument was that jobs would go south.  They sure did.  The problem was, thought, that the very companies who attempted to stop the plan, began to manipulate it.

They moved operations to Mexico and to the Far East.  When they realized that the virtually enslaved population of China could provide cheaper labor than Mexico, where there is a minimum wage, they moved operations to China. If they did not move operations to China, they threatened their Mexican workers to the point where they are paid far less today than they were a few years ago.

It’s all about China.  China manipulates.  They cheat.  They’re Commies – what do you expect.  They undercut.  They do anything possible to steal business and jobs not only from the US, but also Mexico.  The one greatest reason we have such illegal immigration problems from Mexico is because of the multi-national corporations moving into the country and lowering wages.

That is what is now happening here.  The same companies are now using fear and manipulation to force lower wages in this country.  China is part of the problem.  If China were forced to play fair with their currency, the American people might get a break.

Enter Lindsey Graham.

“…“China’s threats to the United States Senate should fall on deaf ears.  We should be examining their business practices, not their rhetoric.  China should be rewarded and engaged when they play fair and we should push back when they continue to cheat.

“The Chinese government’s criticism of our efforts to bring about long-overdue currency reform is ill-advised.  We all want a healthy trading relationship with China, but their business practices – from intellectual property theft to currency manipulation, has created an unhealthy business relationship.

“China’s pegging of the yuan to the dollar and keeping it consistently undervalued continues to create a competitive advantage for the Chinese.  China has too big of an economy to allow them to continue creating an unfair trade advantage.  Chinese currency manipulation has resulted in 2 million jobs being lost in the United States and over 40,000 in South Carolina.  China must stop cheating.”…”

When it comes to sticking up for the US or his libertarian masters, Jim DeMint can always be counted on to do the right thing – for them. On Tuesday night the Senate voted to hold China accountable.  The measure, which Lindsey has been pushing, passed 63-35.  Jim DeMint was again’ it.   The House, dependent upon the libertarian over-lords, will probably not pass it.  Then again, the usual sources, such as Ron Paul are siding with DeMint.  That makes a heck of a lot of sense.  The now libertarian leaning WSJ is also against the actions of the Senate.  That, too, makes sense.

“…“Enough is enough,” Graham said. “I am sorry the amendment process around this place is so screwed up. “I try to be a team player where I can be, because I believe Senator McConnell is doing a very good job. Senator Reid has got his agenda [but] it is not about Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell. It is about people in my state who will lose their job if we don’t do something,” Graham said.

Graham said he is tired of partisan squabbles over procedure, and urged his colleagues to act. “The institution I need to be protecting is the American workforce, who is having their clock cleaned by a communist dictatorship who cheats,” Graham said.

Graham backed up his tough talk by working feverishly behind the scenes with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to round up GOP votes. He helped persuade Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Portman, and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), one of his best friends in the Senate….”

I think this photo says it all.

WTLX

 “…Graham has argued that the measure, sponsored by Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, would protect South Carolina jobs and curb China’s practice of undervaluing its currency, the yuan, to keep its products cheaper in the global marketplace.

Graham and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have advocated for currency-manipulation sanctions for years. They were vocal co-sponsors of the Brown’s bill, which would make it easier to impose tariffs on Chinese goods if the Treasury Department finds that the yuan and the dollar are “misaligned.”

“This vote showed we will not be bullied by China when it is clear they are in the wrong,” Graham said after the vote. “We ignored the threats and do not apologize for taking this action.”

DeMint has argued that the U.S. economy will improve if Congress repeals the Democratic health care law, simplifies the tax code and drastically cuts federal regulations on businesses. Blaming China for domestic economic problems is “a distraction,” DeMint told Gannett recently….”

WPost

Mitt Romney is taking the same side as Lindsey, against the Chinese manipulation of currency, etc.

The Enterprise Blog

 

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