and Democrats, liberals as well as conservatives, have bought into
anti-Chinese trade demagoguery. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
suggested that tariffs against China are a "key part of our 'Make
It in America' agenda." During his 2010 campaign, Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called his tea party-backed Republican
challenger, Sharron Angle, "a foreign worker's best friend." In
a recent news conference, President Barack Obama gave his support
to the anti-China campaign, declaring that China "has been very
aggressive in gaming the trading system to its advantage," adding
that "we can and should take action against countries that are keeping
their currencies undervalued ... (and) that, above all, means China."
2012 presidential candidates have jumped on the anti-China bandwagon.
Mitt Romney wrote: "If I am fortunate enough to be elected president,
I will work to fundamentally alter our economic relationship with
China. ... I will begin on Day One by designating China as the currency
manipulator it is." Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., was even more
challenging, saying, "I want to go to war with China."
at the magnitude of our trade with China. An excellent place to
start is a recent publication (8/8/2011) by Galina Hale and Bart
Hobijn, two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,
titled "The U.S. Content of 'Made in China.'" One of the several
questions they ask is: What is the fraction of U.S. consumer spending
for goods made in China? Their data sources are the U.S. Census
Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Commerce Department's
Bureau of Economic Analysis.