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Businessweek Writer Swallows China Outsourcers' Kool-Aid
Alan Tonelson
Monday, October 22, 2012
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Congrats to Businessweek writer Elizabeth Dwoskin for just presenting one of the year’s most stunning examples of literally brain-dead journalism.

In an October 19 article purporting to explain why China’s currency manipulation should be downplayed in America’s trade policy toward the PRC, Dwoskin offered the following as her prime evidence:  a U.S.-China Business Council survey showing that currency matters “failed to make the top 25 issues of concern to members.”

Uh, Earth to Dwoskin:  The U.S.-China Business Council is a pillar of the outsourcing lobby.  Its membership is dominated by multinationals that have sent valuable American production, technology, and jobs to China.  A main reason?  To enable them to supply the U.S. economy from a super-cheap, virtually unregulated export platform that not so incidentally offers lavish production and export subsidies – like a brazenly undervalued currency.  

That is, USCBC companies benefit from currency manipulation and other Chinese government supports that give goods produced by their factories or contractors artificial price breaks against their domestic American competition.

Of course the undervalued yuan isn’t an “issue of concern” for them.  It’s an invaluable source of competitive advantage.  In this vein, we at GLOBALIZATION FOLLIES strongly suspect that China’s policies of repressing employees’ rights and winking at uncontrolled polluting and dangerous workplaces didn’t make the Council’s top 25, either.

As Thomas Jefferson recognized more than two centuries ago, “our liberty depends on the freedom of the press.”  Luckily, even minimal intelligence from the media matters a lot less.


(Sources: “It's Not Currency That's Sapping U.S. Confidence in China,” by Elizabeth Dwoskin, Bloomberg Businessweek, October 10, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-10/its-not-currency-thats-sapping-u-dot-s-dot-confidence-in-china, and “Thomas Jefferson to Dr. James Currie, January 28, 1786,” Selected Quotations from the Thomas Jefferson Papers, The Thomas Jefferson Papers, American Memory, The Library of Congress, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/jefferson_papers/mtjquote.html )

Alan Tonelson is a Research Fellow at the U.S. Business & Industry Educational Foundation and the author of The Race to the Bottom: Why a Worldwide Worker Surplus and Uncontrolled Free Trade are Sinking American Living Standards (Westview Press).