Huntsman Supports Manufacturing, But Not Taking on China
Although Jon Huntsman voiced his support for a strong industrial base, he refused to join Romney and others in condemning China’s currency cheating:
“We need to regain our industrial base… There are two things that critically need to be done for us to stay ahead in this highly competitive world, and when we lose one or both of them, we lose out to the Chinese and the Indians. One is maintaining a strong commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and freedom in the marketplace. We have the sense of innovation that no country has been able to replicate. Some have tried, and some will continue to try, but nobody does it like we do here. And that gives rise to high technology, to regular manufacturing jobs cross the board. It makes this economy hum when it's working well.”
“Well, first of all, I don't subscribe to the Don Trump school or the Mitt Romney school of international trade. I don't want to find ourselves in a trade war.
With respect to China, if you start slapping penalties on them based on countervailing duties, you're going to get the same thing in return because what they're going to say, because of quantitative easing part one and part two, you're doing a similar thing to your currency. And then you're going to find yourself in a trade war very, very quickly.
And what does that do? That disadvantages our small businesses. It disadvantages our exporters. It disadvantages our agricultural producers. So I say, for the first and the second-largest economies in the world, we have no choice; we have to find common ground. We have to of course use our trade laws, and use them very, very aggressively.
But at the end of the day, we've got to find more market-opening measures. We've got to get more governors from this country together with governors from provinces of China, mayors together with mayors, and exploit the opportunities that exist for exporters. That's a job- creator in this country. It's a huge job creator. And we have to get used to the fact that as far as the eye can see into the 21st century, it's going to be the United States and China on the world stage.”