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11/4/2010 Mid-Term Candidates Bash China for Ga…

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A Rare Instance of Bipartisan Agreement
Risks

In setting the stage to pitch one’s own value, a political candidate often leverages points of utter dis agreement with 5 Ev erg rande Opens Fiv e-star Hotel in
his or her opponent. However, in a curious turn of events arising from this round of US mid-term elections, we see
Ch ongqing
a rare instance of cooperation between Dem ocrats and Republicans on one item – an unspoken agreem ent to
point a finger at China for its purported detrimental effects on the US.

Among the hottest issues on the m id-term debate podium are a faltering US economy and a s everely depres sed
job m arket. With China’s recent ris e as the world’s second largest economy, it’s understood that the Middle :

Kingdom deeply influences m any countries across the globe. With a prom inent and steadily growing profile, China search
emerges as the convenient new bogeyman for America’s many ills.
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Political ads plastering America’s prim e-tim e televis ion paint a decidedly dark portrait of China. Some ads show All news Marco Markets Finance
stark black-and-white video clips depicting US factories and other bus inesses closed down due to outsourcing to Talk Business & Industry Opinion
China. Other ads found on YouTube depict fleeting images of China’s red flag and Chairman Mao Zedong Breaking news
accompanied by a backdrop of giddy Asian-style music.

"...too sympathetic to China..."

Casting China into a dark corner isn’t exclusive to just one candidate. According to a recent report by the New York
Times, at least 29 candidates across the US are airing ads “…s ugges ting that their opponents have been too
sympathetic to China…”

Likewise, stoking the China issue is a mutually bipartisan effort. Both Dem ocrats and Republicans blame one
another for allowing the export of US jobs to China. On the one hand, an ad endorsed by Dem ocratic majority
leader Harry Reid spins his opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, as “a foreign worker’s best friend.” On the other
hand, Republican Congressm an and House minority leader John Boehner accus es both President Obama and
Democratic House majority leader Nancy Pelosi of supporting "s tim ulus that s hipped jobs overseas to China…"

Scapegoating: A Time-Proven Technique

To put things into perspective, identifying a scapegoat and performing the s ubsequent bas hing has been
comm on practice throughout the ages. In recent American history, more prom inent subjects of strong political
rhetoric include the former cold war-era USSR, the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (Vietcong)
that fought the US during the Vietnam War, and – further back – the Axis powers of World War II.

Whether applied at a sm aller scale between individual political opponents, or as a s trategy to garner the s upport
of an entire nation of citizens, the intent is one and the sam e: to evoke an em otional response and elicit a call to
collective action. Right or wrong, justified or unwarranted, this is one use of political rhetoric. The dis tinguishing
topic of discus sion at this tim e is China.

Why Blame China?

In recognizing such rhetoric for what it is, one cannot help but ask: “Why blam e China?”

University of Minnesota political scientis t Lawrence Jacobs offers this explanation: "Candidates are looking to
speak in a visceral way to the fears and concerns of voters about jobs. Bashing China is s afe."

USBC: US Job Losses Due to China "Built On...Faulty Assumption"

While political marketing strategis ts spin China as a main cause for job losses in the US, at leas t one other US-
affiliated entity begs to differ on this point altogether.

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11/4/2010 Mid-Term Candidates Bash China for Ga…
The US-China Busines s Council (USCBC) claims a study released March 23, 2010, by The Economic Policy
Institute (EPI) blames widespread US job losses as a result of trade with China is an abjectly flawed analys is and
further distracts from the real issues facing the US economy and the USA's trade relations with China.

USCBC's president John Frisbie s tates, "The Economic Policy Institute's latest study, 'Unfair China Trade Costs
Local Jobs ' is once again built on the faulty assum ption that every product imported from China would have been
made in the US otherwise. As I said two years ago, this assum ption is clearly wrong - several decades wrong, in
fact." said John Frisbie, USCBC's president.

"Think about the television in your home. The label on the back probably says 'Made in China.' Fifteen years ago
the label likely would have said 'Made in Japan'--but it was still an import." "Much of what we import from China
replaces imports from other countries, not products we m ake in the US today. A jobs impact s tudy that ignores the
facts undermines its own credibility."

US Manufacturing Jobs: On the Decline for Four Decades

According to the most recent data available (based on 2008 information), the United States was the world's largest
manufacturer. Conversely, US manufacturing jobs have steadily declined over the past four decades, long before
China arrived on the global manufacturing arena.

Says Frisbie, "The main reason for the decline in manufacturing jobs is productivity, not China. The US makes
more with fewer people, prim arily because of productivity and technology advances."

"While a num ber of US workers do lose their jobs to lower-cost imports, US policymakers must work to ensure
displaced workers have to the proper training and other resources available for a transition to new careers in other
sectors of the economy."

"The key is to m ake sure our com panies and workers stay competitive and remain global leaders in
manufacturing--and that means sens ible innovation, education, tax, healthcare, and energy policies. The answer
is not to build walls around the US to isolate ours elves from our growing export opportunities with China -
especially as the US econom y continues to em erge from the econom ic downturn."

John Melendez is a US-b ased technical writer and journalist. johnm @journalist.com

Tags: China,unem ployment,election

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