We Must Stand Up to Japan (Oops, I Meant China)

Analysis: Complaints in America about China’s trade practices recall another fit of paranoia about another rising Asia power

Elizabeth Dalziel / AP

A Chinese factory worker at the assembly line at a DaimlerChrysler factory in Beijing, China.

I was reading the transcript of a recent Hillary Clinton campaign speech when I got that weird feeling of déjà vu. Clinton was in Pittsburgh, going on and on about trade with China. She promised to "stand up to China and other non–market countries," which, she claimed, "subsidize their exports and put our manufacturers at a disadvantage." The U.S. needs "to immediately and aggressively crack down on China's unfair trade practices," including "currency manipulation," which she deemed "outrageous." Her goal, she said, was "leveling the playing field for our manufacturers with smart fair trade."

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