Bernie Sanders: Washington’s Dangerous New Consensus on China

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    • #430561
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 9,978

      https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/70008-washingtons-dangerous-new-consensus-on-china

      It is quite remarkable how quickly conventional wisdom on this issue has changed. Just over two decades ago, in September 2000, corporate America and the leadership of both political parties strongly supported granting China “permanent normal trade relations” status, or PNTR. At that time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the corporate media, and virtually every establishment foreign policy pundit in Washington insisted that PNTR was necessary to keep U.S. companies competitive by giving them access to China’s growing market, and that the liberalization of China’s economy would be accompanied by the liberalization of China’s government with regard to democracy and human rights.

      This position was seen as obviously and unassailably correct. Granting PNTR, the economist Nicholas Lardy of the centrist Brookings Institution argued in the spring of 2000, would “provide an important boost to China’s leadership, that is taking significant economic and political risks in order to meet the demands of the international community for substantial additional economic reforms.” The denial of PNTR, on the other hand, “would mean that U.S. companies would not benefit from the most important commitments China has made to become a member” of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Writing around the same time, the political scientist Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute put it more bluntly. “American trade with China is a good thing, for America and for the expansion of freedom in China,” he asserted. “That seems, or should seem, obvious.”

      Well, it wasn’t obvious to me, which is why I helped lead the opposition to that disastrous trade agreement. What I knew then, and what many working people knew, was that allowing American companies to move to China and hire workers there at starvation wages would spur a race to the bottom, resulting in the loss of good-paying union jobs in the United States and lower wages for American workers. And that’s exactly what happened. In the roughly two decades that followed, around two million American jobs were lost, more than 40,000 factories shut down, and American workers experienced wage stagnation—even while corporations made billions and executives were richly rewarded. In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidential election in part by campaigning against U.S. trade policies, tapping into the real economic struggles of many voters with his phony and divisive populism.

      Meanwhile, needless to say, freedom, democracy, and human rights in China have not expanded. They have been severely curtailed as China has moved in a more authoritarian direction, and China has become increasingly aggressive on the global stage. The pendulum of conventional wisdom in Washington has now swung from being far too optimistic about the opportunities presented by unfettered trade with China to being far too hawkish about the threats posed by the richer, stronger, more authoritarian China that has been one result of that increased trade.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #430587
      Bearian
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 789

      .” They have been severely curtailed as the U.S. has moved in a more authoritarian direction, and the U.S. has become increasingly aggressive on the global stage. The pendulum of conventional wisdom in Bejing has now swung from being far too optimistic about the opportunities presented by unfettered trade with the West to being far too hawkish about the threats posed by the richer, stronger, more authoritarian United States that has been one result of that increased Military hardware trade.” Fixed it for you Bernie. Bernie needs to stop the Red Baiting.

    • #430590
      soryang
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,476

      Bernie pays deference to the establishment anti China diversion while claiming he now wants to change the emphasis from military confrontation to more laudable goals.

    • #430604
      Jan Boehmerman
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 4,395

      I agree with @bearian and @soryang on this. Very disappointed in Bernie’s remarks.

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