Saturday, September 1, 2012

Memo to the American People – It’s Too Late for China Bashing, China Is Now a Part of the American Economy

Toledo, Ohio is Dependent on Chinese, Not American Investment

Attacking China is a piece of the standard inventory of politicians.  Mr. Romney does his China attacks on a daily basis, and there is nothing in the Obama campaign that suggests that they are willing to recognize the growing role that China is playing in the American economy.  But a lot of local communities are finding out that China is a player, they are nicely settled in American back yards and they are here to stay.

Case in point is Toledo, OhioToledo is an old time manufacturing city, built on the success of car making and other heavy industry.  So times have not been all that good in the city.  But things are getting better, and not because of U. S. government policy, or even state government policy.

the mayor has something new to show visitors. The skyscraper to his right, housing a business hotel, now belongs to Chinese investors. In 2011 another Chinese group spent $2.15m on a restaurant complex beside the Maumee river, then a further $3.8m on waterfront land euphemistically dubbed the “Marina District”, once home to a power station. Just out of view is the site of what regional development officials say will be, by year’s end, a new Chinese-owned metalworking plant worth tens of millions of dollars.

Of course this is taking place in spite of the idiocy of some of the local residents (idiocy being a pervasive and persistent quality of Americans when it comes to economics).

Some locals have been harder to convince. There was wild talk that Chinese submarines would lurk offshore or that Chinese firms would foul Lake Erie

Really, foul Lake Erie!!  Are these people deaf and dumb to what America has done to Lake Erie over the last two hundred years.  Do they not remember the river in Cleveland catching on fire?  Maybe its patriotism, the belief that if anyone is going to pollute Lake Erie it is going to be Americans, not foreigners.

So are politicians jumping on board?  Hardly, there’s political gold to be mined in ignorance.

In July, Barack Obama boasted to a crowd near Toledo that he was filing a complaint with the WTO against Chinese duties on imported cars, such as the Ohio-built Jeep Wrangler, and accused his rival Mitt Romney of building a business career on outsourcing jobs abroad. Visiting the state on August 16th, Mr Romney’s Republican running-mate, Paul Ryan, accused China of stealing American intellectual property, blocking market access and currency manipulation, and accused Mr Obama of being a “doormat” in the face of Chinese “cheating”.

Of course, one difference here is that Mr. Romney may actually be so lacking in understanding of world economics that he actually believes what he is saying.  And that, more than the Chinese, is the real danger here.

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