G-20 Standing Up To China, Now It’s Your Turn

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.
As the manufacturing infrastructure of suppliers, technology knowledge, etc., moves to China, dependence follows. China appears to be ready to answer, “So what are you going to do about it?”
The world is starting to realize this. Financial Times, yesterday, China reprimanded by G20 leaders

Five prominent members of the Group of 20 leading economies, including the US and UK, sent a coded rebuke to China on Tuesday against backsliding on economic agreements.
In a letter to the rest of the G20 that shows frustration at slow progress this year, the leaders warned: “Without co-operative action to make the necessary adjustments to achieve [strong and sustainable growth], the risk of future crises and low growth remain.”

Reuters says,

The letter was signed by U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Meanwhile Business Week looks at China, in China: Closing for Business? (turn your sound off before clicking)

Nearly a decade after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, many foreign companies say the warm reception they once received has turned frosty. … A new government procurement program known as “indigenous innovation” features rules favoring local firms: It could block sales worth billions of dollars a year. … Beijing has written strict standards for everything from cell phones to cars, often couching them in a way that gives an advantage to domestic producers.

Summary, China used the promise of access to its huge market to grab control of much of the world’s manufacturing. “You want to sell to us, you have to build your factories here.” Now that they have it they are no longer as interested in sharing. And while they subsidize manufacturing in various ways – including currency manipulation – to lure companies to move factories and jobs to China, they are not letting those companies sell inside China. So the huge trade imbalance continues to grow.
China pursued an effective industrial policy. Meanwhile, we don’t even have one.
What are we going to do about that?
Here is something you can do today: Click here to tell Washington: Tell the truth. China is manipulating its currency and playing by its own set of rules.

The Treasury Department must report twice a year which countries are practicing unfair trade by artificially lowering the value of their currencies, making their imports cheaper and our exports pricier.
The next Treasury report on currency manipulation comes on April 15. The Chinese government is spending an unprecedented $30 billion a month buying dollars and selling yuan to keep its currency low and its exports cheap.
Yet regardless of who is in charge of the White House, the US has yet to follow the law and state the truth.

To share this:
Direct Twitter share link (click on this, don’t copy it): http://bit.ly/dAKD4P
Direct Facebook share link (click on this, don’t copy it): http://bit.ly/clpBmC
And then, after you have done these, demand that our government formulate and follow a national industrial policy so we can start bringing the jobs back home.
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I Will be Blogging From The Pittsburgh G20 JOBS Summit

I am flying to Pittsburgh tomorrow and will be blogging Thursday and Friday from the G20 summit, at the Blog for OurFuture as part of the Campaign for America’s Future‘s Making It In America project.
The G20 is a meeting of the Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of “systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy.”
From their website,

The G-20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina,Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America [See, since Bush we are last on every list! - DJ]
The European Union, who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank, is the 20th member of the G-20. To ensure global economic fora and institutions work together, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the President of the World Bank, plus the chairs of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank, also participate in G-20 meetings on an ex-officio basis. The G-20 thus brings together important industrial and emerging-market countries from all regions of the world. Together, member countries represent around 90 per cent of global gross national product, 80 per cent of world trade (including EU intra-trade) as well as two-thirds of the world’s population. The G-20′s economic weight and broad membership gives it a high degree of legitimacy and influence over the management of the global economy and financial system.

We should call it the JOBS summit because that is what this is really about. How will the world restructure the economic system after the financial crisis? How can we change things to regular people share the wealth? Of course Wall Street wants everything kept just the way it is. But the rest of the world is demanding that we make changes.
Then there will be a lot of talk about “protectionism,” because President Obama actually enforced a trade agreement! Here’s the thing, agreements are not agreements unless they are enforced. By enforcing this agreement with China, it means we might start having fair, honest, balanced trade again.
Anyway, I look forward to this trip and to writing about the G20 Summit. Check in at Blog for OurFuture over the next few days. I think we’re going to solve the world’s problems — don’t miss out!