Thursday, December 09, 2004

China Watch: Lou Dobbs Has Some Information

Wonks Hero Lou Dobbs
On this evening's edition of Lou Dobbs, Dobbs disclosed more bad news regarding our ever-increasing trade imbalance with Authoritarian China and other countries:

Import Tariffs:

  • The United States levies import taxes of about 5% on Chinese goods coming into the country.
  • China levies a tax of about 30% on U.S. manufactured products being imported into their country.

Other Trade Issues:

  • At present, 96% of the clothing that is worn by Americans are now made in other countries, often with labor that earns less than $1.00 per hour.
  • In a landmark development (for the high-tech industry) I.B.M. has sold their entire computer division (including all manufacturing facilities and intellectual properties) to a...drumroll please.....Chinese computer firm.
  • The United States has had a trade-deficit every single month for the last 28 straight years. In order to find a month in which our nation actually sold more American products overseas than it imported, it's necessary to look all the way back to the Ford Administration.

In response to our earlier posts, some of our readers have pointed out the beneficial aspects of open trade with regimes like Authoritarian China. They make excellent points. The chief benefits for American consumers are a variety of inexpensive products that are in high-demand. Whatever else can be said about Authoritarian China, they do hold their labor costs down.....

But those cheap prices have to be weighed against the enormous cost in well-paying American manufacturing jobs.

We here at the 'Wonks aren't protectionists, really, but we do believe in fair trade with free countries. In other words, if We let You trade in our nation at a tax-level that is "X" then We expect You to allow Us to trade in your country at tax-level "X."

And if You don't, then we should do something about the situation, not simply let it go on for decades. This is especially true when the party that is getting all the advantage (China) is illegally exporting both missile and nuclear technology to dangerous regimes such as Theocratic Iran.

Authoritarian China's policy of charging a 30% tariff on American goods while we charge a 5% tariff on Chinese goods is simply asinine. Our continued acceptance of this is worse.

We affirm that in order our companies to successfully compete, they have to be allowed to play in a game that is not already "rigged" in order to produce a pre-determined outcome.

Update:(12/11) The Big Picture has some dissenting (but well argued) thoughts on the ramifications of the sale of IBM's computer division to a Chinese firm.