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View Diary: Secret Trade Deal Battle: K Street vs. Middle America (125 comments)

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  •  India: yes, China: no (0+ / 0-)

    The problem with the blanket statement "free trade is good" is that it all depends on who you're trading with.  I tend to be pro-free trade, and I think that the engagement we have with China is helping to bring attitudes irreversibly toward more democratic ways of thinking.

    However, there are limits.  The biggest problem I have with unfettered trade with China is that the Chinese government is not trustworthy, oppresses its people, and plays economic games to make it seem like we're getting a better deal than we really are.

    There was a great commentary by David Frum on Marketplace this week.  The thrust of the article is that the U.S. is collectively investing a lot in China, and not getting much out of it.  The quote that struck me:

    But talk to a foreign investor in China, and you hear one terrible story after another. As one investor recently put it to me: "One of two things happens to your investment. It fails, and you lose your money. Or it succeeds, and they take your money."

    Ripping off our investments isn't our only problem.  By shipping jobs to China, we're replacing jobs in a liberal, democratic society with jobs securely under the thumb of a repressive regime.

    I feel completely different about democratic societies like India.  While not perfect, they are clearly on the right track, and they have reasonably liberal free speech and democratic values.  The more we build up that country, the more likely we are to have a welcome peer on the world superpower stage.  A future where we're all bitching about India throwing its weight around just doesn't seem as scary as a future where China is throwing its weight around.

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