IN OTHER WORDS
The latest blame China bill, unveiled last week in US Senate, is not as bad as earlier proposals. Gone are the ham-fisted tariffs that lawmakers once threatened to impose if China did not raise the value of its currency, the yuan. In their place is a more gradual process for inflicting economic and political pain unless Beijing moves faster to lift the yuan. But the new approach, while tamer, is still a dangerous game. Threats can backfire. They also obscure workable solutions to today’s global imbalances.
It would be better if Congress focused on the problems from globalisation that it could actually solve rather than blaming China for America’s economic ills. The problem of American business competitiveness would be best addressed by healthcare reform. The problem of growing income inequality could be ameliorated with a more progressive tax
code. It would also be more constructive if the US took responsibility for its part
in international imbalances. To help restore balance, China should change
its currency practices and the US should change its tax policy. Talks between the two nations need to acknowledge those twin imperatives.
That would be a lot wiser than legislation that is based on the false notion of America as an innocent victim, unable to shoulder responsibility for its own problems. — The New York Times