Hillary Clinton agrees with the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)
In a speech in New York today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sounded a heck of a lot like the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) on the subject of U.S.-China trade. AAM has repeatedly taken China to task for its mercantilist currency manipulation. And in an effort to shore up the nation's industrial base, AAM has also continually urged the adoption of a national manufacturing strategy.
Kudos, then, to Secretary Clinton for statements that mirror AAM's concerns.
As Reuters correspondent Patrick Worsnip reports, Clinton's speech focused on the need for the U.S. to "make its economic interests central to its foreign policy to remain a global leader."
In what was planned as a major speech, Clinton reiterated concerns about China's currency. Referencing the Senate's recently passed currency bill, Clinton said that the U.S. has the right to "assert ourselves."'
Very astutely, Clinton also recognized the self-serving, predatory trade practices of several U.S. trading partners:
"Our competitors aren't taking a time out, and neither can we...Emerging powers like India and Brazil put economics at the center of their foreign policies... One of the first questions they ask is, 'how will this affect our economic growth?...We need to be asking the same question, not because the answer will dictate every one of our foreign policy choices -- it will not, but it must be a significant part of that equation."
Worsnip says Clinton's speech suggested that sustained U.S. economic power "would depend in part on aggressively challenging foreign trade barriers," and would require a more "level playing field":
"When governments impose a so-called 'tollbooth' that forces unfair terms on companies just to enter or expand in a new market, we push back...Look, if you're China you're going to do what advantages China. Why should that surprise anybody?...But we're America, and we need to take care of what's going to put us in the strongest position."
It's impressive that, as Worsnip sees it, "Clinton's message was clearly aimed in part at the challenge from Beijing, which U.S. officials have accused of using regulatory measures and an artificially low exchange rate to rack up some $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves."
Read Worsnip's full report on Clinton's speech.
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