Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Romney believes China's denials about slave labor
Romney talking about Chinese labor practices:
Romney and Ryan say they are about jobs, and that China is a particular target because they fix the price of their currency in dollars, so no trade with China is "free" in any real sense. Of course, all countries manipulate their currency to gain advantage in the marketplace: Canada, for example, intervened in the market to keep their dollar artificially low in the 90s so they wouldn't lose jobs to us after NAFTA was signed. It was a huge success for them and now they employ 5% more of their workers than the U.S. Barack Obama has tried and threatened China to get a partial revaluation of their currency.
Republicans have been very enthused about China since the 1970s, in contrast to their dire warmongering before then. Nixon opened our country to them, with George H.W. Bush as ambassador. They gave China Most Favored Nation status and stuck with it even when China massacred thousands of democracy protesters at Tiannanmen Square. It didn't hurt that the Bushes had extensive business interests there or that a Chinese businessman bankrolled George H.W. Bush's congressional campaign in '66. George W. Bush showered them with military technology, sending our green berets to train their special forces, and letting them service our naval vessels in their ports. They took advantage of it to find a way to track our nuclear submarines, the hitherto impregnable third of our nuclear deterrent, probably the worst "strategic" military setback to the U.S. since the Russians stole our atomic secrets.
Romney was part of our super-friendly rapport with China. This video is an example. Did he really believe that the Chinese were using barbed wire to keep people out of the factory rather than in? Did he not understand that it necessarily functioned as a prison? Did he think that people were keen to sleep 12 to a room and 120 to a bathroom? Did Bain buy the company they were looking at? We know Bain has offices in China and that Bain & Co., which Romney also headed for a time, was one of the leading companies for outsourcing jobs to China. Does he not realize that the U.S. used to have factories almost as bad, and that it was regulation and unions that put an end to it?
I think the answer is very clear. Romney has no problem with exploitation like this. "95% of life is set up for you just by being born in America" shows he does not understand what American labor is like in the chicken factories and strawberry fields and chemical plants of this country. He also sounds enthusiastic about this factory, as though the exploitation itself doesn't bother him.
Do we really want someone like this as president? Do we really think he will "get tough" with China? They could revalue their currency and still use slave labor. Most likely, he wants a Free Trade agreement with China. China has been going around the world trying to sign them with Korea and Japan and other trading partners of ours. As for holding them accountable for unfair trade practices: that is as unlikely under Mitt Romney as his raising taxes on the rich.