Reagan never would have deceived the American people by pretending that our foreign competitors are cutting their tariffs when in fact they simply replace tariffs with a Value Added Tax of comparable amount. Reagan would not have dishonestly called the present system "free trade" when Communist China is cheating us in so many ways because they use trade to build up their military as rapidly as they can with our money.
Mitt Romney understands the threat from Communist China better than any of his Republican competitors and certainly far better than President Obama. Romney said, "I don't want a trade war, but I don't want trade surrender, either. I will begin on day one by designating China as the currency manipulator it is."
Years ago, Ronald Reagan admonished the Japanese about their currency manipulation. He told the Japanese that if they didn't revalue their yen, the United States would take unilateral action to reduce Japanese imports.
Again and again, we are told that times have changed, that it's OK that the American economy is shifting from manufacturing to a service economy. But that means, we are not making things; we are just reselling stuff that other countries make, and that doesn't produce good jobs or a strong economy.
The Republican Party platform recognizes the dishonesty of so-called free trade. It sets forth what it labels the "downside" in this statement:
"Some governments have used a variety of unfair means to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology -- the 'intellectual property' that drives innovation. The chief offender is China, which has built up its economy in part by piggybacking onto Western technology advances, manipulates its currency to the disadvantage of American exporters, excludes American products from government purchases, subsidizes Chinese companies to give them a commercial advantage, and invents regulations and standards designed to keep out foreign competition. The current administration's way of dealing with all these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender."
We cheer the Republican platform for restoring our demand for American "military superiority." Manufacturing is an essential component of that goal.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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