Just about the time you think the Obama administration may be growing a backbone in dealing with China ….. well, no. Once again, they’ve chosen to duck and cover, leaving American workers to take the brunt. The administration has decided to hold off on issuing a report that would brand China a “currency manipulator,” opening the door to corrective tariffs. (See the above-linked Reuters article.) It seems that Obama wants to hold off at least until after the next G20 meeting in November, giving a “multi-lateral” approach another chance. Earth to Obama: the U.S. trade deficit with China isn’t a multi-lateral issue. Aside from the U.S. and China, none of the other 18 in the G20 gives a damn about our trade deficit.
The issue here isn’t multi-lateralism vs. a go-it-alone approach. The issue is that this administration hasn’t the courage to take even the simplest of measures in defense of our economy and American workers. If it doesn’t have the guts to issue a report, what are the chances that they’d have the guts to actually impose tariffs on China and then make them stick?
President Obama clearly places more importance on diplomacy, on maintaining an air of cooperation at G20 meetings, and on a legacy of being a world-respected statesman than on providing real leadership for the American people. Maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise, since he vowed to take such an approach during the campaign two years ago. But he also vowed to tackle the trade deficit and re-write the North American Free Trade Agreement. Neither has happened, nor will they happen.
There will be no improvement in America’s trade deficit under this administration. The president’s plan to cut into the deficit by doubling exports is less of a plan than it is a dodge. There’s no hope that American manufacturing jobs will be coming home under this administration. It’s clear that our only hope for “change” will have to wait until the 2012 election. Obama and his adminstration will have to go.