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Chinese Currency Manipulation and the U.S. Deficit   November 17th, 2010
Biting the hand that feeds us       

 
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A special commission has decided that China manipulates its currency. What a surprise. But for the U.S. to complain about that two weeks after we announced we'll be printing $600 billion rings a little hollow.

China continues to manipulate its currency and the nation's "exclusionary" trade policies have contributed to a massive deficit with the United States, a special commission said Wednesday.

According to a draft of its annual report to Congress, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said lawmakers should urge the Obama administration to respond to China's policy of undervaluing its currency and look for ways to overcome trade barriers with the world's most populous country.


I have no doubt that the Chinese are manipulating their currency for competitive advantage. But we've really lost a lot (if not all) of our credibility when it comes to criticizing currency manipulation and "undervaluing" of other currencies. When we print $600 billion to fund our government's deficit spending, we're manipulating and undervaluing our own currency.

The report also mentions the fact that China's policies have contributed to a huge trade deficit:

These policies and others have contributed to America's trade deficit with China of a whopping $1.76 trillion annually, the report said.


It seems to me that there will be no serious effort on the part of the United States to resolve China's currency manipulation as long as we're running huge budget deficits. Our government depends on money loaned to it by the Chinese, and the Chinese get the money to loan us by selling us more stuff than they buy from us; and that trade deficit is increased as a result of Chinese currency manipulation.

While it'd certainly be good to be on equal competitive footing with the Chinese, the fact of the matter is that as long as our government is running huge deficits, it can't afford for the trade deficit to shrink much. The trade deficit is what allows the Chinese to have the money to loan to the U.S. Government in the first place.

So I wouldn't expect much cooperation from the Chinese regarding the currency issue, and I wouldn't expect the Obama administration to do much about it.

The administration needs the Chinese currency to be undervalued to enable the trade deficit which allows the Chinese to have the money to loan us to fund our federal deficit. And when we have a trade deficit, that means we're buying more stuff from them than we're exporting--which means more jobs for the Chinese and fewer jobs for Americans.

Democrats think stimulus/deficit spending creates jobs. Unfortunately the jobs it creates are in China.

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