Thursday, June 09, 2005

et tu, Hillary?

In the NY Times several days ago (June 6, 2005), I read an article describing a speech by Hillary Clinton in which she criticized the Bush Administration.

While this is understandable in that she is trying to create space between her positions and those of President Bush for the sake of a potential presidential run in 2008, I think both she and the Democratic Party should rethink their position on China.

In her speech, she criticized President Bush for allowing China to become our banker, that is running up a large current account deficit (buying a lot more from foreign countries than the U.S. sells to them) and then financing that debt with Treasure bonds purchased by foreign countries (China buys these bonds to keep its currency from increasing against the dollar, to which the yuan or renminbi is pegged).

If the Democratic Party and Senator Clinton wish to open up a dialogue with America, I think they should consider a free trade platform. It is well and fine to criticize President Bush and his administration for tax policies and running a deficit, but why tie this criticism to an increasingly xenophobic, protectionist, and borderline racist strain of though again China and the Chinese people?

People in China work very, very had. They gain advantage in textiles and apparel to the exclusion of other parts of their economy. If the U.S. wishes China to become a developed country with a democratic government, free speech, and human rights, why would either the U.S. government or the U.S. people want to restrict China’s development by imposing tariffs, quotas, or encouraging anti-China sentiment? It boggles the mind.

While President Bush has many objectionable policies linked to special interests, his policies on China (excluding those enacted recently on quotas for apparel) are the most beneficial to the American people. If I can purchase cheap pants, T-shirts, and shoes at my local retail store, I can focus my energy on maintaining a blog, thinking of new products to develop, and bringing into play the comparative advantage of the American people, rather than how to stop the Chinese people from getting some of the benefits of their hard work.

Life in China for people working in the textile and apparel industries is not a walk in the park. Competition from China makes us (Americans) stronger, quicker, and faster. Our economy needs competition not protection.

I implore Senator Clinton and the Democrats to change their China-bashing ways before they lose out for another decade to pro-China President Bush. John Kerry and John Edwards played their “Benedict Arnold CEOs” card in the 2004 election campaign. This is slippery slope. Let’s make America better, not disparage China!

No comments: