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

Who Won the Bloomberg Washington Post Economy Debate? (VIDEO added)


Interesting format that I’d love to read your comments about. A roundtable where the candidates sat down, addressed videos of the candidates at previous campaign events, and even had the opportunity to ask each other questions.

Who do you think won the debate? Check back often for updated polls, reaction to the debate, and full video of the debate when it becomes available.

UPDATE by Jayde – We know Romney supporters are anxious to see video of the debate, so until we find one video of the entire debate, we’re posting the debate in 10 parts:

Part 1:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

To read a transcript of the debate click here.

UPDATE from the Washington Post (The debate was held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire):

WINNERS

* Mitt Romney: We expected Romney to shine in this economic-focused debate and shine he did. Romney was knowledgeable and detailed — as expected — but also relaxed to the point where he let a little bit of his personality show. Romney’s biggest hurdle in this race is that he strikes lots of people as inauthentic and awkward. Not only was the head and shoulders above the other candidates on stage when it came to looking presidential, Romney also showcased his human side. His best debate in a string of very solid performances.

Also, The Page by Mark Halperin grades the debate:

UPDATE by Jayde
Mitt Romney’s performance leaves others on the sidelines in GOP debate

In a debate which was dominated by the economy and short on policy detail, Romney’s main rival Rick Perry failed to deliver.

Former governor Mitt Romney consolidated his front-runner status on Tuesday night in the Republican presidential race, overshadowing his rivals in the latest debate which was dominated by the country’s faltering economy.

His main rival, the Texas governor Rick Perry, needed a strong performance after seeing his poll ratings drop sharply, the result of doing badly in the previous two debates. But he again failed to deliver.

Republican strategists were scathing about Perry’s inability to mount a comeback, and his lack of fire. The veteran Alex Castellanos said Perry’s team had complained that he had been tired in the last debate because he had had to stand for so long. This time, he had been sitting down, but was still lacklustre.

“Next time he is going to have to get a mattress,” Castellanos said on CNN of the Texas governor’s sleepy performance.

In a debate short on policy detail, Romney, emerged as the most fluent and most at ease[...]

Romney’s success in the debate came only hours after he secured the much-prized endorsement of the New Jersey govenor Chris Christie, who last week announced he would not be joining the race.

GOP12 from The Hill only passed out 1 A grade and it went to Gov. Romney.

He didn’t just run circles around everyone. He ran squares and isosceles triangles. He can talk forever on economic issues; whereas, Rick Perry’s answer for everything is just two words — “energy independence”, which means that, at least, he can’t literally be accused of one-word answers.

Romney was that rarest of phenomenons last night. He was placed in an environment that perfectly suited him, and was close to perfect in it.

Everyone lowers expectations for debates. Romney neither lowered nor raised them before last night’s seated scrum. He just went in and showed his economic chops without showing off.

It’s exactly why Democrats fear him the most. Right now, he’s running about evenly with Barack Obama in national polls, but that’s before debates or any significant exposure before the nation. You put him in a debate, with a bad economy and Barack Obama on the other side, and even Mesopotamia would prefer taking its chances against Alexander the Great.

It’s been said before, but above all, he exudes competence, which is what voters want. Instead of putting on ideology on and then trying to fit his conclusions around it, he seems to find conclusions and then use his ideology to explain them.

In short, it would be very difficult for the Obama campaign to demonize him as a dangerous ideologue, which is exactly what they’ll try to do to any Republican nominee, including Romney.