Has the U.S. government been going too easy on China? Commentators have certainly taken to this refrain recently. Right now, as some argue a better trade balance could help the American economy, pundits and politicians alike are condemning China's intransigence on trade and currency. Here's a sample of the debate over whether stiffening the U.S. stance towards China is wise, helpful, and just.
- China's Playing Us for Fools on Multiple 'Fronts' Paul Krugman, recently big on China-bashing in The New York Times, says that when you put China's bullying attitude on its mineral monopoly with "the state subsidies that help firms gain key contracts, the pressure on foreign companies to move production to China and, above all, that exchange-rate policy--and what you have is a portrait of a rogue economic superpower, unwilling to play by the rules. And the question," he concludes, provocatively, "is what the rest of us are going to do about it."
- Time for China to Play Fair, agrees Democratic senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, writing in the Times. Regarding trade agreements, "Washington has ... relied on rhetoric and moral suasion. It hasn't worked. Only rigorous enforcement of trade rules by the Obama administration can reverse the harm caused by the permanent normal trade relations agreement."
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