Could Hollywood actually teach Washington a thing or two?
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?
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.
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