The Supreme Leader denies his country engages in such practices, then promises it will stop them in its own sweet time, without any more meddling interference from Imperialist Running Dogs.
Meanwhile, with great fanfare, the Supreme Leader announces an order for a few more Boeing passenger jets. There are toasts and smiles all around at the A-list White House dinner. As the Supreme Leader flies off, the Treasury secretary declares his “get tough” policy has been a success.
Then it’s off to the headquarters of Multinational Corp., where the Supreme Leader signs one of those joint venture agreements with a Chinese government-owned company in which Multinational Corp. agrees to share its latest technology to gain access to the World’s Fastest Growing Market — a market that by treaty obligation is supposed to be open to foreign products and foreign investment but in practice is just one giant pay-to-play racket.
By week’s end, Americans finally turn their attentions back to the more pressing issue of whether the Jets can really make it to the Super Bowl.
So far, this week’s visit by President Hu Jintao has pretty much followed the script.
There was last week’s tough speech by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner that extolled the growth in the U.S.-China trade relationship but threatened to cut off access to U.S investment opportunities and access to U.S. high-tech products if more progress was not made on the usual laundry list of concerns.
Within days, we learned that a company called Evergreen Solar would shutter its solar panel factory in Devens, Mass., opened with great fanfare three years ago with at least $43 million in state subsidies. Evergreen is shifting its production to China. Plunging prices for solar panels had rendered the U.S. plant unprofitable, according to chief executive Michael El-Hillow, but Evergreen can still make money in China because of the lower costs and considerable government subsidies offered by the government there. So much for those 800 “green jobs” in Massachusetts.
Then this week, my colleague Howard Schneider weighed in with an equally telling story from Wisconsin, where Manitowoc Co. has for years exported giant cranes to China for use in giant construction projects such as the Three Gorges Dam. But now that Chinese firms are ready to enter the market, Beijing has slapped a 30 percent tariff on Manitowoc’s exports under a provision of global trade rules that allow “developing” countries to protect “emerging” industries. To stay in the game, Manitowoc has had to enter a joint venture with one of its Chinese competitors, which means much of the work will be done there.
The right response to these challenges would be for the president this week to laud China for the success of its economic policies and announce that the administration will begin forthwith to apply each and every one of them to Chinese exports into the United States. Subsidies and directed credit for local companies, buy-American provisions for government agencies and government contractors, currency manipulation, the rules on “conditional market access” and “indigenous innovation” — surely China could hardly complain if we were to pay them the highest compliment by embracing their economic model.