From Cafe Hayek:
Bruce, if all of us are better off by trading with China, where are the victims? Are you saying that at some time in the future, China is going to say "Okay, we now know how to make your products without you. Now go away and we will continue to sell into the US."? If they're going to steal IP, they don't really need anybody's help. Reverse-engineering is a fairly well-developed art. And if it's legal for China to sell something into the US, then it's legal for Iowa to sell it into New York. Are you going to suggest that New York needs to put up protectionist barriers against Iowa?
Posted by: Russell Nelson | Oct 28, 2006 1:59:24 AM
I don't believe I ever made the case that we are all better off dealing with China... others have stated that as their belief.
My position is clear: China represents an economic threat to the U.S. because it is a wholly unethical trader.
If I steal something that you make and then sell it back to you for less than you can make it, does that make it a bargain for you? If you believe so, then we should do a lot of business. I can make you very pleased with those new economics.
The fact that China provides cheap labor in the short run does not offset the economic harm done to businesses that have their products and processes usurped by China. It does not make up for the costs of research and development that are lost as a result of counterfeiters not only destroying the market opportunities in China of those whose products or processes were taken, but also undermining those companies in the U.S. by becoming "competitors" as they sell their knock-offs in the U.S. You might actually read some of the examples I cited earlier rather than giving totally hypothetical examples of how we benefit by being undermined.
What you've basically said is that since the Chinese are going to steal from us, we might as well buy from them to make up for it. Wow, that is really obtuse! Just because a corrupt government in China looks the other way doesn't mean that we should. Or is all fair in economics and war?
I lose your analogy to Iowa and New York completely. Are the Iowa farmers ripping off the research and development and processes and products of the New York businessmen?
Posted by: Bruce Hall | Oct 28, 2006 10:46:14 AM