piece of the standard inventory of politicians. Mr. Romney does his China 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
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 “
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. Marina District
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!! 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
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 Toledo 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”. China
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.