“Trade between China and the United States has not been, over the last many, many years, a very fair one for us. Right now, unfortunately, it is a very one-sided and unfair [relationship]. But – but – I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for taking advantage of another country for the benefit of its own citizens? I give China great credit. But in actuality I do blame past [US] administrations for allowing this out of control trade deficit to take place and to grow. We have to fix this because it just doesn’t work … it is just not sustainable.”
He’s right. Who can blame China for taking advantage?
But Trump fails to take this to the whole truth. I doubt he has the intellectual capacity to do so. But why are Democrats are willing to do so? Democrats will be forced to rely on identity politics and unable to win elections on economic policies that are vital to the working class until they get the courage to tell the truth to working class Americans and work to make real changes.
The whole truth is that trade with China (and other nations) has been AWESOME for some Americans. Our DOW has soared, GDP skyrocketed, all measurements of wealth have risen dramatically for the nation if taken as a whole over the past four decades, much of this in part due to trade with China.
So why have American administrations, both Democrat and Republican alike have built our economic model, our trade deals, our tax code. And here we are. American wages flat for decades, the ownership class getting filthy rich, and China plays a role in this.
If China is getting the best of this deal, why doesn’t Mr. Trump ask why past administrations went along with it?
The answer is clear. While the trade deficit grows and American working class citizens struggle, some Americans did quite well with this arrangement, and those same Americans are in control of both parties. Yeah, I know, the money has to come form somewhere.
The “ownership class” ( a term I will use from this day on to describe the 1%, the rentiers, the rent seekers) demanded our trade policy with China and they got it.
Mr. Trump was right. Who can blame China for taking advantage? But Mr. Trump fails to take it one step further and ask WHY so many administrations, Republican and Democratic alike allowed this? Further, Cui bono? for whose benefit? and for that. Mr. Trump need only look in the mirror, his cabinet, and the presidents and cabinets before him.
Is he willing to do this? My guess is, no. Is there a Democrat willing to do this? We had that chance a few months ago. Let’s hope another person in that mold comes along soon.