The Tough-On-Trade Charade, Ctd

Sep 27 2012 @ 9:54am

Alec MacGillis digs up a video of Romney's eloquent defense of lowering trade barriers with China (it begins around the 31:10 mark). Money quote:

The tire workers of America look at these tires coming in from China and say this is not good for me…. And it will — as those tires come in it does hurt them directly, and therefore what their response is, their immediate response is, don’t let them in. But if that’s what their response is, my experience is over time, they will lose out slowly but surely, as they protect their lack of productivity with barriers, they will become less and less competitive, the foreign guys will get more and more volume, more and more successful.

Yet, Romney's recent web-ad (above), which Stan Abrams finds misleading, rips into Obama's China policy once again. Molly Ball reports that on the Ohio airwaves, it's all anti-China talk, all the time. This is more than a little hypocritical for both candidates, she notes:

Both Obama and Romney are clearly proponents of free trade. Obama has signed a number of new free-trade agreements, some of them proposed by his predecessor; beyond the WTO complaints, he's mostly taken a conciliatory, diplomatic line toward China, and he hasn't proposed to go further in a potential second term than the incremental steps he's taken in his first.

Romney, meanwhile, prefaced his anti-China spiel on Tuesday with a riff about the virtues of trade, and in his economic plan he promises to take many of the same free-trade actions Obama has already taken. And while Romney talks constantly about his plan to label China a currency manipulator, you never hear him go into what would happen next — the volleys of escalating tariffs that would ensue. Romney's big-money donors, many of whom, like Sheldon Adelson, have interests in China, don't believe he's serious about undertaking a full-scale trade war, or they wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

Earlier Dish commentary on both candidates' attacks on China here.