When the Soviet Union fell, the world rejoiced and the Cold War ended. Some predicted an “end of history” and smooth sailing from there on out. Reality has been very different, because just as the Cold War was ending, an economic war with China was beginning. In truth, it has not been much of a war; more like a one-sided slaughter. The reason for this is the United States will not wake up, does not even want to acknowledge that the war has long since begun and it is losing.
Tag Archives: Currency Manipulation
When we look at the causes of the colonists’ discontent, we see that some themes are prevalent through the centuries. The King of England used tariffs and manipulated trade to benefit England at the expense of the colonies. In school we learn about the rebellion against the tax on tea, but in reality this was but one small issue in a large list. The real problem was that England was protecting its home markets at the expense of colonial ones.
Perhaps the single biggest issue were the monopolies given to the East India Company in trading with the citizens of the New World. That was hundreds of years ago, and yet we see similarities to today. The East India Company is gone, but in its place are China, Japan, Germany… take your pick. These nations have achieved through their foreign value-added taxes and currency manipulation almost exactly what England did through royal fiat. And just like then, Americans are suffering because of it.
The similarities end there. Our ancestors were ultimately willing to fight and die for the right of self-determination. They fought a long war with the British, the world’s most powerful army, and with a little help from the French and some Indian tribes, we wore them down on our own turf.
Where is this fighting spirit today? Has it been entirely extinguished? While China and other nations ravage our economy, gaining near monopolies in important industries, we sit by idly and allow it to happen. Our Founding Fathers struggled for a Constitution, and poured their souls into fashioning it so that we could manage ourselves in a well-balanced system. A couple centuries later, we turn over a portion of our national sovereignty to the WTO, a non-American and unelected group of trade dictators who also just happen to rule against the United States in 9 of every 10 decisions.
Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of prudent trade policy and used tariffs to fund the government. They recognized when they were being taken advantage of and refused to stand for it. At the cost of death and heartache they learned first-hand the significance of self-determination. These vital lessons have been forgotten by too many of our political leaders.
Let us remember the lessons of history. Out of respect for the sacrifices of our countrymen of yesteryear, let us admit our errors and amend them. We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our children. We were bequeathed a free, strong and prosperous nation. Let us leave it in better condition than we received it.
Democrats and Republicans are constantly swept up in debate regarding labels. Republicans generally argue for free trade while a few progressive democrats campaign for fair trade. In reality, all that American citizens are doing is getting caught up in a false-ideological battle whilst ignoring actual issues. “Free trade” and “protectionist” fair trade are just labels: Americans should simply be focused on “trade” and what is best for our country. Is this not the policy every country should adopt?
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has convened a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the ramifications of currency policy on trading relationships. WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has asked countries to examine the subject in a rational way, and to avoid finger-pointing. However, when examining the situation, the only rational response is finger-pointing: some countries purposefully devalue their currency in violation of WTO rules, and others do not. Devaluation by countries such as China has hurt the U.S. economy immensely over the years, and there is no reason to pretend otherwise.
Following up on his State of the Union promise, President Obama will sign an executive order Tuesday to establish a new office focused on trade enforcement. Dubbed the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, the office will be tasked with combating unfair trade practices around the world. The Obama administration has stated that it intends to crack down on trade violators, and this office is a major part of that plan.