At the MSNBC Florida presidential debate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney posed a very significant question. "As we compete with China, how do we make sure that trade is done in a way that levels the playing field? How do we ... protect American industry and American jobs, and do not cause a departure of jobs from this country?"
Good question, but neither Romney nor anyone else answered it.
Answering a question about the bipartisan stimulus package to give cash to every American, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made an important point: "We'll probably end up borrowing this $150 billion from the Chinese. And when we get those rebate checks, most people are going to go out and buy stuff that's been imported from China. I have to wonder whose economy is going to be stimulated the most by the package." Again, nobody responded, and we didn't hear any plans on how to deal with the China problem.
How can we have fair trade with a country that is a major thief of our intellectual property? The Chinese don't even believe in individual intellectual property rights, which they look upon as a Western concept.
China is now salivating about the prospect that the Democratic Congress might make it easier to steal our patents. In the Nov. 7 issue of China Intellectual Property News, a Chinese spokesman says the patent bill soon to be voted on by the U.S. Senate is good news for China because the bill is "friendlier to the infringers than to the patentees in general as it will make the patent less reliable, easier to be challenged and cheaper to be infringed."
That's bad news for U.S. independent inventors and small companies. The author of that statement, Yongshun Cheng, is deputy director of the Intellectual Property Division of the Beijing High People's Court.
China is the world's biggest supplier of counterfeit, misbranded, substandard and unapproved pharmaceutical products to the United States. A dozen Chinese companies were producing Viagra until Pfizer finally won its patent protection lawsuit.
Poisons in Chinese products might not be limited to pet food, seafood, clothing and toys. Let's consider potential dangers from prescription drugs.
China has picked biotech as the new engine to continue its economic phenomenon. The Chinese government is supporting biopharmaceutical enterprises politically and financially, helping the biopharmaceutical industry to grow by 31.2 percent annually from 2001 to 2005.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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