"The most protectionist nation in history..."
What's the most protectionist nation in history?
According to economist Fred Bergsten, the answer is China:
China has intervened massively in the foreign exchange markets for at least five years, buying at least $1 billion every day to keep the dollar strong and its own renminbi weak...This is by far the largest protectionist measure adopted by any country since the Second World War -- and probably in all of history.
If this is the case, then Vice President Joe Biden will surely address China’s unabashed currency manipulation during his upcoming trip to the nation…right? Wrong.
In a recent preview of Biden’s upcoming trip to China to meet with Vice President Xi Jinping, the New York Times’ Edward Wong points out that “instead of Mr. Biden pressing the Chinese on their currency, Chinese officials are likely to be pressing him about the stability of the dollar.”
As Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul pondered in a tweet this morning, “IIE's Fred Bergsten calls China's currency manipulation most protectionist action ever so why isn't it focus of VP Biden's China trip?”
Quite frankly, there’s no good answer. Our recent national poll shows that Americans want Washington to make job creation their top priority, yet clearly the Administration clearly isn’t listening. Our surging trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2008 resulted in the loss or displacement of 2.4 million American jobs, and If China were to revalue the yuan to its equilibrium level – and other Asian countries were to follow suit – the benefits for the U.S. economy would be significant.
Yet this issue—which is one of the leading contributors to our mounting jobs deficit—is nowhere on the agenda for Biden’s trip. We find this downright outrageous.
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