Trading with China

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Maybe the real question about the China trade bill that’s got Washington all abuzz is: does it do anything at all?

The Clinton line on the permanent trade agreement says it will open the Middle Kingdom’s gates to democracy, and denying it could mean war. In fact, 3-decades of trade have done little to liberalize China.

US business interests say they’ll reach a billion-plus-person market, but how many Chinese have the cash to buy American-made goods? And the yearly vote for Most Favored Nation status hasn’t done much for Chinese freedom either. And though America will certainly lose jobs to an economically open China, it will lose them whether or not it’s America that does the opening.

Many economists and politicians have long equated globalism with global peace and prosperity, but can we trust the dismal science behind that rosy veiw?

Sorting out China Trade, in this hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


David Smith, Director of Policy of the AFL-CIO, and Robert Reich, former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary and Brandeis University professor of economics.