Both candidates for president are talking tough on China. And their focus isn't human rights or democracy.

It's trade.

"On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator," Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared during last week's debate in New York.

The former Massachusetts governor promised a Romney administration will be "cracking down on China when they cheat."

Not to be outdone, Democratic President Barack Obama told Romney: "Governor, you're the last person who is going to get tough on China."

"We have pushed them hard," Obama insisted.

Blaming China for lost jobs during a challenging economy may be popular with voters. But the worst thing that could happen to the American economy is if China's economy were to fall.

Our two nations may be on opposite sides of the globe. But our economies are intimately linked by nearly a half-trillion dollars in trade. And China's growing middle class will provide a huge source of new customers for Wisconsin and American products.

Yes, China plays games with its currency to lower the cost of its products. China has done little to stop the theft of American intellectual property. China has low labor standards.

Those issues demand engagement and diplomacy for improvement.

But the high-profile China bashing by both presidential candidates this election is counterproductive and threatens new barriers to trade that would hurt both countries.

It's not a zero-sum game. More trade among friendly nations will boost the fortunes of all.

Obama was right during last week's debate when he acknowledged that some jobs lost to low-cost manufacturers in China and elsewhere are not coming back.

But clinging to every low-wage, low-skilled job in America is not a strong strategy for the future. Moreover, automation poses a bigger threat to those jobs than foreign competition.

What America needs to compete hard for are the higher-skilled, higher-wage jobs that a slew of American manufacturers still provide. And those companies need a growing customer base that open global markets provide.

America needs to educate, innovate and invent. We need to encourage entrepreneurs.

Obama said he saved 1,000 American jobs through higher levies on imported Chinese tires. Economists at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington say 1,200 jobs may have been preserved. But they also estimated that those levies cost American consumers $1.1 billion in higher prices — or $900,000 per job, the Associated Press just reported.

More protectionism will backfire.

America and China need to build a better relationship that big talk at presidential debates won't foster.

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(9) comments

scorp

With four yrs of Pres Clueless "fighting for fair trade with China" , the results are that the trade balance has widened ,jobs to China have increased ,and China OWNS US ! Time to replace the clueless community organizer with an experienced and competent businessman . The monetary policy must be enforced . The US can increase manufacturing and easily survive a meltdown with China, however , China will fail without the US buying their products . The debt to China ? With the economy heading upwards after Romneys election, US bonds will be golden.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

Occupy America discovered Mitt's 5 point plan on foreign policy.

Step 1: Get the facts wrong;
Step 2: Undermine long-lasting relationships with your allies;
Step 3: Frequently highlight your lack of experience;
Step 4: Assemble a team of ideologues committed to endless war;
Step 5: Mistake your enemies (“C’mon, Mitt…think!”).

That’s it: five easy steps to successfully lead America on the world stage – blunder by blunder.

vaportrail

And here's obama’s plan...same as it’s been for the last four years:

The End

ErnestTBass

For your information folks: So dont kill the messenger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFG2Nb2Lj2U

spooky tooth

Another great plan from the State Journal; We give China all our manufacturing jobs and China buys some cheese and ag products. It's a win-win, yeah right. Where did all the jobs go? It must be the presidents fault.

How are ex-working Americans supposed to support themselves? Who's left to pay taxes? How do we support our schools and infrastructure? If we ask those making all the money (shipping to China) to pay more in taxes its called class warfare against the super rich.

I think the Sate Journal should send a reporter down to Freeport, IL and see what's happening right now. Vulture Capitalists (Bain) is shipping jobs and equipment to China, even when this company is making record profits. Please report back to us how Freeport and IL are winning.

You can take all the terrorists in the world and they couldn't begin to do the damage Trickle Down and Bad International Trade Deals have done to the US.

milt3726

The nation’s problems will be solved when Barack Obama and his staff, his cabinet and his czars, his undersecretaries and “special assistants,” are finally evicted from their tyrannical and destructive positions of power. The ticket to ending joblessness is replacing the job destroyer with the job creator. That single act – the replacement of Barack Obama with Mitt Romney – may not do everything we need, but it will do more good with one single flick of a switch than any other action ever could.

spooky tooth

Check out what Romeny and Bain are doing right now in Freeport, IL. They are creating jobs in China, not the US.

Dode
Dode

Oh clueless one, do some research and report back here to let us know when Romney stopped working at Bain. (Hint: it was before the year 2000.) Then tomorrow why don't you ask Lee Iacocca why he and Chrysler are moving so many auto jobs to Mexico? After that why not ask George Washington and Thomas Jefferson why they are not doing something about the unemployment rate?

Nav

It is too simplistic to say either we should or should not be tough on China. We need to be tough on China when it is in our interests. we need to work with China also when it is in our interests. President Obama has shown how that is possible, and he is to be commended for his approach. He will get my vote, and he should get yours as well!

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