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MasterOfPuppets 10-16-2010 04:07 AM

China Emerges as a Scapegoat in Campaign Ads


The following article by David W. Chen appeared in The New York Times here.
With many Americans seized by anxiety about the country’s economic decline, candidates from both political parties have suddenly found a new villain to run against: China.
From the marquee battle between Senator Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina in California to the House contests in rural New York, Democrats and Republicans are blaming one another for allowing the export of jobs to its economic rival.
In the past week or so, at least 29 candidates have unveiled advertisements suggesting that their opponents have been too sympathetic to China and, as a result, Americans have suffered.
The ads are striking not only in their volume but also in their pointed language.
One ad for an Ohio congressman, Zack Space, accuses his Republican opponent, Bob Gibbs, of supporting free-trade policies that sent Ohioans’ jobs to China. As a giant dragon appears on the screen, the narrator sarcastically thanks the Republican: “As they say in China, xie xie Mr. Gibbs!”
In an ad featuring Chinese music and a photo of Chairman Mao, Spike Maynard, a Republican challenger in West Virginia, charges that Representative Nick Rahall supported a bill creating wind-turbine jobs in China.
And on Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, began showing an ad that wove pictures of Chinese factory workers with criticism that Republican Sharron Angle was “a foreign worker’s best friend” for supporting corporate tax breaks that led to outsourcing to China and India.
The barrage of ads, expected to total in the tens of millions of dollars, is occurring as politicians are struggling to address voters’ most pressing and stubborn concern: the lack of jobs.
“China is a really easy scapegoat,” said Erika Franklin Fowler, a political science professor at Wesleyan University who is director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising.
Polls show that not only are Americans increasingly worried that the United States will have a lesser role in the years ahead; they are more and more convinced that China will dominate. In a Pew poll conducted in April, 41 percent of Americans said China was the world’s leading economic power, slightly more than those who named the United States.
The attacks are occurring as trade tensions continue and the United States is pressuring the Chinese government to allow its currency to rise in value, a central topic under discussion at the International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington this weekend.
The ads are so vivid and pervasive that some worry they will increase hostility toward the Chinese and complicate the already fraught relationship between the two countries.
Robert A. Kapp, a former president of the US-China Business Council, said that even though tensions had flared in the past, he had never seen China used as such an obvious punching bag for American politicians.
“To bring one country into the crosshairs in so many districts, at such a late stage of the campaign, represents something new and a calculated gamble,” he said. “I find it deplorable. I find it demeaning.”
Not all of the ads are solely about China; a few mention India or Mexico. A recent ad from Mrs. Boxer accuses Ms. Fiorina, a former chief executive at Hewlett-Packard, of outsourcing thousands of jobs to “Shanghai instead of San Jose, Bangalore instead of Burbank,” and of “proudly stamping her products ‘Made in China.’ ”
It is no accident that Democrats, in particular, have been eying China as a line of attack. This spring, national Democrats, including the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, began to encourage candidates to highlight the issue after reviewing internal polling that suggested voters strongly favored eliminating tax breaks for companies that do business in China. The party first began emphasizing the issue in a special election for a Pennsylvania House seat in May, said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Never mind that there is hardly any consensus as to what exactly constitutes outsourcing and how many of the new overseas jobs would have stayed in American hands. The Democrats cite studies this year from the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research organization, that assert three million jobs have been outsourced to China since 2001 because of the growing trade imbalance.
But Republicans, backed by some academics, say the number is much smaller. Indeed, Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University, said that most of the jobs China had added in manufacturing through foreign investment had come from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, not from the United States.
Still, some Republicans clearly see the issue as potent, and they are counterattacking with ads stating that the Obama administration’s stimulus package helped to create $2 billion in wind-turbine technology jobs in China, a claim the Treasury Department and the American Wind Energy Association say is dubious.
Representative John A. Boehner, the House minority leader, in a speech Friday in Ohio, blamed President Obama and Ms. Pelosi for a “stimulus that shipped jobs overseas to China instead of creating jobs here at home.”
Evan B. Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising, said that “China has sort of become a straw-man villain in this election” in a way that elicits comparisons to the sentiments toward Japan in the 1980s over car manufacturing and Mexico in the 1990s over the North American Free Trade Agreement.
While China’s growth has slowed a bit recently, its economy is still projected to surge by about 10 percent this year, continuing a remarkable three-decade streak of double-digit expansion.
“In a lot of ways it’s a code word: ‘Let’s be mad at China, because then the voters will connect the dots and say our manufacturing plants have been shut down because of China, and all the unfair labor practices, and throw on the fact that we’re basically selling all our debt to China,’//” Mr. Tracey said.
Even as the ads play up Americans’ unease with the threat posed by modern China, they often employ outdated and almost cliché depictions.
In a new spot for Representative Joe Sestak, who is running for the Senate in Pennsylvania, a gong clangs as a narrator says of his Republican rival, Pat Toomey: “He’s fighting for jobs — in China.”
An ad for Ryan Frazier, a Republican running for Congress in western Colorado, shows Forbidden City-style doors opening to reveal China on a world map, as the voiceover criticizes the Democratic incumbent, Ed Perlmutter, for supporting cap-and-trade legislation, which some Coloradans believe will drive more manufacturing jobs overseas.
Consultants from both parties are monitoring polling and voter reaction to gauge the effectiveness of the ads and to determine how long to continue showing them. Based on the back-and-forth between candidates on the campaign trail, the issue does not appear to be going away anytime soon.
At a Senate debate in Connecticut on Monday night between the Democrat Richard Blumenthal and the Republican Linda E. McMahon, Mr. Blumenthal repeatedly tried to raise concerns about the business practices of World Wrestling Entertainment, the company in which Ms. McMahon served as chief executive.
A tense moment occurred when Mr. Blumenthal asked: Why does Ms. McMahon’s company manufacture its popular action figure toys in China, rather than here at home? She said it was not her decision, but that of the toy company, and moved on.

MasterOfPuppets 10-16-2010 04:29 AM

Re: China Emerges as a Scapegoat in Campaign Ads

Donald Trump knows a few things about making money. The first step: You need a job. But a job is something more than 17 million of America’s workers don’t have.
In a recent CNN interview, Trump says one big way this country can create jobs is by heavily taxing China’s exports, which would result in the creation of much-needed manufacturing jobs here at home.
When it comes to manufacturing, China is making all these products. They could be made in North Carolina, they could be made in Alabama, they could be made in lots of our places and right now they’re not.
Personally, I’d tax China because it’s not a free trade country. I would tax China very, very heavily…it would create jobs in this country.
The truth is, if we tax China, fairly substantially…you would have so much money in this country, you wouldn’t have the trade deficits…you have trading deficits that are enormous in the United States….What will happen now, is other areas of the country will start manufacturing products, and that’s what this country needs. (H/t to Alliance for American Manufacturingfor Trump video clip.)
Some 2.4 million U.S. jobs were lost or displaced between 2001 and 2008 because of the U.S. trade deficit with China, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). And high-tech jobs are being outsourced faster than those in any other sector. The Alliance for American Manufacturing has a great chart breaking down this job loss state by state. The map highlights how every state is affected by the U.S. trade deficit with China, like Georgia, which lost 78,000 jobs, nearly 2 percent of its employment.
This country needs 11 million new jobs to get to the level of employment we had before the recession. And there’s no good reason why corporations aren’t creating them. Trump took on the false notion that U.S. tax laws discourage companies from locating here.
I think we’re the most [business] friendly country. This country is so friendly. The biggest problem we have is with China is they’re sucking money out of this country, and the horrible part is that they then loan it back to us. I know lots of folks in China. They think we are the dumbest son of bitches in the world. They think our representatives don’t know what they’re doing. They laugh at us behind our back.
Maybe some of those lawmakers need to remember Trump’s signature phrase: “You’re fired.”
wow .... tax chinese imports ...what a concept ...:doh:

look at the imbalance of trade between us and them.... look through the years on the chart , and watch had the trade balance gap grows.

its no wonder their economy is growing while ours is shrinking....were doing a ton of buying and very little selling. .... even if we cut chinese imports in half we still wouldn't be even. for every 4 dollars of chinese shit we buy , they buy 1 dollars worth of shit from us .... now who's gonna run out of money quicker ?

SteelCityMom 10-16-2010 09:53 AM

Re: China Emerges as a Scapegoat in Campaign Ads
Trump for president! :chuckle:

MasterOfPuppets 10-16-2010 06:47 PM

Re: China Emerges as a Scapegoat in Campaign Ads
Light bulb factory closes; End of era for U.S. means more jobs overseas


What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.

Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.


"Everybody's jumping on the green bandwagon," said Pat Doyle, 54, who has worked at the plant for 26 years. But "we've been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE. "

MasterOfPuppets 10-16-2010 07:00 PM

Re: China Emerges as a Scapegoat in Campaign Ads
GM offshore outsourcing U.S. jobs


Glad you supported GM getting U.S. taxpayer dollars? Want to see GM survive, prattling on how America needs an auto industry?
Instead we get this, GM plans to shift overseas production:
General Motors Corp. will shift more production of vehicles bound for the U.S. market to China, Mexico, South Korea and Japan, but will keep total imports at roughly one-third of all sales here.
In a confidential 12-page presentation to members of Congress, obtained by The Detroit News on Friday, GM said it will boost U.S. sales of vehicles built in those four countries by 98 percent -- or about 365,000 vehicles -- while shrinking production in Canada, Australia and European countries by about 130,000 vehicles.
GM also disclosed it will start importing vehicles made in China in 2011, reaching 51,546 vehicles in 2014. Imports from South Korea to the United States will jump from 36,967 vehicles in 2010 to 157,126 in 2014.
The automaker said it is canceling expansion projects in Russia, India and Mexico.
GM's plan to import more vehicles from low-wage countries raises questions about whether it should beef up its foreign operations as it is relying on federal money to stay afloat. It also puts the automaker at odds with the United Auto Workers, which is trying to protect U.S. jobs amid a dramatic restructuring of the domestic auto industry.
GM has faced strong protests from the union that its turnaround plan unfairly targets U.S. workers and plants for cuts. GM plans to trim 21,000 hourly workers and close 13 of its 47 U.S. plants by the end of 2010 as part of a tougher recovery plan sought by President Obama's auto task force. It will close three more U.S. plants by 2014.
UAW legislative director Alan Reuther wrote a letter to Congress:
Unfortunately, the latest restructuring plan put forward by the company calls for the closing of 16 manufacturing facilities in this country, including four assembly plants. This will result in the direct loss of 21,000 jobs.
The ripple effect at suppliers, dealers, and other businesses will cost tens of thousands of additional jobs, devastating numerous communities across the United States.
Incredibly, between 2010-2014 GM's restructuring plan also calls for a 98% increase in the number of vehicles it will be importing into the United States from Mexico, Korea, Japan and China, with the number of imports from these countries increasing from 371,547 to 736,743. As a result, the share of GM’s sales in the U.S. market that will be imported from these countries will increase from 15.5% to 23.5%. The overall number of vehicles GM will be importing in 2014 represents the production of four assembly plants, the same number that GM plans to close in the United States.
Who else says **** 'em? Let them be liquidated in bankruptcy, save the UAW pensions and health care and let's be done with this Benedict Arnold corporation. Why are we pouring U.S. taxpayer money into some labor arbitraging behemoth? Let's just kill this globalization that just bit them but they want to do it again monstrosity and start over.
Here's William Greider at The Nation:
So this is how the auto bailout will work. American taxpayers pump tens of billions into rescuing General Motors from bankruptcy. Then GM pays us back by shipping more jobs overseas--the equivalent of four assembly plants. The federal money will directly subsidize more imports from abroad, enabling GM to double its car production in Mexico, South Korea and China and selling the cars into the US market.
Can someone explain how this is in our national interest? If that is the best deal Obama's auto czars can come up with, then this angry taxpayer says: laissez-faire--let GM go down. Better to settle for bankruptcy court than provide public financing to further the destruction of US manufacturing.
Oh yeah, GM's claim they are not using taxpayer funds is pure bullshit. Without those funds they would already be in bankruptcy. There are previous reports of GM using our taxpayer dollars for operations in Brazil.

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