Who's Preying on Whom?
Robert Samuelson in yesterday's Washington Post:
"It is not "protectionist" (I am a long-standing free-trader) to complain about policies that are predatory; China's are just that."
Let's see. China sells American consumers and businesses cheap goods, often subsidized by the citizens/taxpayers of China with export subsidies, at prices lower than we could produce those goods ourselves. They also invest about $200 billion each year in our economy buying our financial assets (stocks and bonds).
Here's where I might agree with Samuelson: those results are "predatory," but "predatory" in the sense we are taking advantage of the Chinese, not that they are taking advantage of us. We take advantage of both their cheap goods and their capital investment in the U.S. economy.
Q: What if the China agreed to send us all of their production for free as a gift of foreign aid, would Samuelson still complain about "predatory" trade practices?