Listening to Robert Lighthizer testify before the US House Ways and Means Committee, it dawns on me that the United States is not interested in “fair trade” with China. The US is interested in China and other large but emerging nations behaving like colonies.
Trade, as I have shared before, is nothing but a developed country’s claim on a less developed country’s resources. China is a “bad guy” because it has the audacity to not just provide cheap labor for American manufacturing, but is willing to leverage the knowledge it gained producing cheap goods for American companies for export back to the US. China is only good to the US if China is willing to pattern its relationship off of the relationship between the original thirteen colonies and England.
This American view is bipartisan as it is held by such progressives as John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, and conservatives like Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas. The vocal issue expressed by these men is that China’s state-run version of capitalism undercuts American jobs and creates a hostile price environment for American businesses competing with Chinese imports. I believe the real issue for American politicians is how to get China to restructure its political economy so that China looks more like an American political economy.
So how does America wish to go about “aiding” China’s transition to a consumer-driven political economy? By war. The average American MBA, cab driver, pole dancer, lawyer, etc., believes that China is “dangerous” because they are communist thus a threat to American “freedom.”
This one dimensional jingoistic mindset is encouraged by policy makers and bankers to deflect from the real reason for wanting to duke it out with the Asian Tiger: to change the rules of trade such that China becomes another market for capital, foreign exchange, and bond markets. If “bankers” could generate their coin without introducing corporate capitalism and democracy to China, they would do so.
America, a country whose financial and political markets are fixed on two-year windows, and is fixated with disingenuous diversity, does not have the capacity to change the mindset of a nation steeped in centuries of tradition, a clearer lineage, and 50-year economic plans. America can only hope for military conflict, something the “Deplorables” and other feeble-minded ninety-nine percenters and feeble intellects can grasp.
Again, this new twist on American mercantilism has bi-partisan support which is unfortunate because a rift between the left and the right on foreign and trade policy may be what America needs in order to come up with innovative trade policy while keeping young Americans from dying in a trumped up war.