Could Hollywood actually teach Washington a thing or two?

Posted by TGarland on 03/19/2014

This Town loves 'House of Cards.' 

Yes indeed, Washington, DC loves to watch itself in action.  But maybe "this town" could learn a thing or two from Netflix's popular political series.

Take the fictional Walker/Underwood administration in 'House of Cards.'  The TV show's president has brought a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against China for manipulating its currency. Heady stuff in the imaginary world of politics, right?  But what if a stern approach to Beijing didn't simply serve as a Hollywood plotline?  Since China’s currency manipulation and other mercantilist policies have cost thousands of U.S. jobs, what if the real-life president decided to do something about it?

As Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul explained this morning in a new POLITICO Magazine op-ed, Washington might just want to start taking 'House of Cards' a little more seriously:

But there is a real lesson the Obama White House can learn from its fictional counterpart: Pressuring China’s government on its damaging trade and currency practices actually works…From 2005-08, and again since 2010 — and only after direct threats of sanctions from Congress or the administration — Beijing has slow-walked an appreciation of the yuan, essentially doing just enough to earn a gentleman’s C.

If a fictional administration is getting tough on China, why can’t President Obama?

After all, 60 perent of voters say we need to get tough on China. And new data shows the positive affect it would have at home:

Imagine, for a moment, if the Obama administration were to take currency manipulation as seriously as Underwood’s boss does. Recent research suggests that the United States would reduce the trade deficit by as much as $500 billion per year if global currency manipulation were eliminated in three years. It also would increase U.S. gross domestic product by as much as $720 billion a year, create as many as 5.8 million jobs and reduce the federal budget deficit by $266 billion.

As surprising as it might sound, it’s time for Washington to take a cue from Hollywood and get tough on China.

Tell your representatives and senators to hold China accountable for currency manipulation.

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