When John Huntsman’s turned on his fellow GOP candidate, Mitt Romney in order to flaunt his Mandarin in Saturday night’s debate, he accused the former Mass Governor of not understanding the situation in regards to China’s currency manipulation scheme.
Actually what was clear from the exchange and from Mr. Huntsman’s actions as kowtowing ambassador to the world’s largest police state that it is Huntsman who just doesn’t get it.
Huntsman didn’t bother to either deny of defend the charges of currency manipulation, trade cheating, and IP theft. All he wanted to do, was his familiar job of delivering imperious Chinese threats.
This time he was the mouthpiece for the tired old assertion that holding China up to international norms and the trade agreements it has signed up to would result in a “trade war.”
Romney promptly and properly pointed out that in a trade war the country that is benefiting from the trade is the one that has the most to fear. In the US-China relationship it’s very apparent who this trade is profiting and who this trade is hurting. If the China trade vanished today and the US got back its domestic markets the main thing that would happen is a 2% increase in our GDP and huge drop in our unemployment.
Sure we’d lose that plant in Georgia selling chopsticks to China, but in exchange could be making iPads in California. Nothing could be more representative of the raw deal America gets from working with China.
Further, the key point is that there is a huge moral hazard in letting your friend cheat you out of the fear that they might not play with you anymore. Trading partners, like anyone else learn from your previous behavior and I’ll continue doing what works. In China’s case that’s lying, cheating, stealing, and occasionally threatening.
The American public does not want a President who channels Hu Jintao and threatens the American people in Chinese.