This country is based on the belief in capitalism and free enterprise. But when it comes to today’s globalization of commerce, the United States is facing nearly a David vs. Goliath situation.
And we’re running out of stones to sling.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper drove home that point when she appeared at Wheatland Tube Co. Tuesday to discuss the Currency Reform and Fair Trade Act that cleared the House last week.
Rep. Dahlkemper, who represents the 3rd District including Mercer County, made it clear that fair trade with China isn’t possible right now because “China cheats.” She referred to the accusations that China manipulates the value of its currency, which gives producers in that country a large advantage.
Rep. Dahlkemper is a big backer of the bill, and we are fully behind her. And choosing Wheatland Tube as a place to speak was truly fitting. While we realize it is an election year and votes are in the balance for her, these kind of pushes go beyond political maneuvering.
Tube production is vitally important to the Mercer County area, which has been devastated in the past few decades by loss of industry. And tube production in this country has been hampered greatly by the foreign market.
An unfair balance of trade because of China’s manipulation of the value of the yuan (yen) could result in the closing of some United States tube mills.
This country has had a love-hate relationship with China since President Ronald Reagan re-established our connection to the Asian juggernaut.
We obviously abhor their human relations standards and the way they treat some of their people. While they have improved, they are still far from the freedoms we enjoy in this country.
Yet our government loves their banks, which now hold a large part of the paper on our national debt.
And while many people will cry “Buy American,” at the same time they will still flock to Walmart and similar big-box stores where more than 80 percent of the merchandise is produced overseas, much of it in China.
But as is being pointed out, China cheats and therefore is able to produce cheaper products that they can sell in this country at a lesser price than similar American products.
We love competition in this country. But we want fair competition. Right now with China manipulating its currency value, it’s like the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Farrell High Steelers.
And as it stands now, China is costing Americans as many as a half million jobs, according to statistics listed by Rep. Dahlkemper.
If that proves true, in the long run, the Currency Reform and Fair Trade Act might be a “stimulus package” we can all get behind.