Romney Op-Ed: To Preserve Free Trade China’s Cheating Must End


Radio commentator Laura Ingraham was right when she said: “Without a doubt, the most forceful commentary about China cheating on trade, the effects on the U.S. economy, and holding China accountable have come from Governor Romney.

Romney continues to speak out on USA trade inequities with China. Here’s part of his op-ed published yesterday in the Washington Post:

China must respect the free-trade system

The feckless economic policies of the Obama administration have resulted in a 10 percent decline in our median income, persistent unemployment above 8 percent and collapsing home and asset values.

Understandably, some ask whether we should abandon the economic principles behind our historic prosperity. Should government redistribute wealth? Is free enterprise a flawed system? Should we abandon free trade? No, no and no. Redistribution is what once impoverished China and the Soviet Union. Free enterprise is the only permanent cure for poverty. Free trade has the demonstrated ability to make the people of both trading nations more prosperous.

But for free enterprise and free trade to work their magic, laws and rules that guide the participants are essential to prevent distortions and abuses. If the rules are modern and dynamic, enterprise can thrive. If they are burdensome and antiquated, enterprise will stall. For rules to be effective, of course, all players must abide by them. The incentive to cheat can be enormous. So is the harm that cheating can cause.

China is a case in point. Having embraced free enterprise to some degree, the Chinese government and Chinese companies have quickly divined the benefits of ignoring the rules followed by others. China seeks advantage through systematic exploitation of other economies. It misappropriates intellectual property by coercing “technology transfers” as a condition of market access; enables theft of intellectual property, including patents, designs and know-how; hacks into foreign commercial and government computers; favors and subsidizes domestic producers over foreign competitors; and manipulates its currency to artificially reduce the price of its goods and services abroad.

The result is that China sells high-quality products to the United States at low prices. But too often the source of that high quality is American innovations stolen by Chinese companies. And the source of those low prices is too often subsidies from the Chinese government or manipulation of the Chinese currency.

Some argue that access to quality goods at low prices is good for our consumers. But like the predatory pricing prohibited under our antitrust laws, China’s underpriced products lead to an undesirable and inefficient elimination of competing businesses, with serious long-term consequences. And in this case, the businesses killed are often our own. Meanwhile, American companies do not even get the supposed benefit of the free-trade bargain: When they try to do business in the Chinese market, they find policies designed to shut them out.

Candidate Obama talked tough about China’s trade policies; President Obama has whispered about them. China smiles, diverts attention by criticizing the United States and merrily continues to eat our economic lunch. Who can blame the Chinese for ignoring our timid complaints when the status quo has served them so well?

Actually doing something about China’s cheating makes some people nervous. Not doing something makes me nervous. We are warned that we might precipitate a trade war. Really? China is selling us $273 billion per year more than America is selling China — why would it possibly want a trade war?

And what is the alternative to confronting China? It is allowing the Chinese to take by trade surrender what we fear to lose in trade war.

(emphasis added )

CONTINUE reading here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Afghanistan-Dithering Obama to Emanuel and Axelrod – “Sic ‘em!” Cheney Muzzles

dog-muzzle-art-muzzle-designed-american-pride-muzzleUnable to tolerate growing criticism of his Afghanistan war tail-chasing, Obama snapped the leash off attack dogs Emanuel and Axelrod this weekend to sic the Bush Administration. Appearing on weekend television news programs, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod snarled that Obama has had to craft a war strategy from scratch, is just at the starting point, and that President Bush left office without a strategy for Afghanistan.

Weary of the growling, former Vice President Dick Cheney donned a proverbial dog-catcher suit as he addressed the Center for Security Policy audience in Washington D.C. last night. Here’s how he used TRUTH to muzzle Obama’s criticisms.

“…Among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith… Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.”

“Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.

In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.

Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced.”

“Last January 20th, our successors in office were given the highest honors that the voters of this country can give any two citizens. Along with that, George W. Bush and I handed the new president and vice president both a record of success in the war on terror, and the policies to continue that record and ultimately prevail. We had been the decision makers, but those seven years, four months, and nine days without another 9/11 or worse, were a combined achievement: a credit to all who serve in the defense of America, including some of the finest people I’ve ever met.

What the present administration does with those policies is their call to make, and will become a measure of their own record. But I will tell you straight that I am not encouraged when intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America’s enemies. And it certainly is not a good sign when the Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.

We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work – the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame.”

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While Obama engages in political yipping and nipping, let’s hope America’s quest for victory over Taliban terrorists and stability for Afghanistan doesn’t go to the dogs.

 

Note - In reference to a speech Dick Cheney gave to the American Enterprise Institute on May 21, 2009 Mitt Romney said:  “Vice President Cheney has been the target of every media, from mainstream to comic. But he spoke today as before without regard to the politics but with abiding respect for the truth. Barack Obama is still hanging on to the campaign trail. He said that the last thing he thinks about when he goes to sleep at night is keeping America safe. That’s a big difference with Vice President Cheney—when it came to protecting Americans, he never went to sleep.”

Full transcript of Dick Cheney’s Center for Security speech here.
Additional Resource: Keep America Safe – Founders: Elizabeth L. Cheney, Debra Burlingame, William Kristol