Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obama's speech in Japan focuses attention on trade with Asia, especially China, especially balance of trade and cheap imports

John Pomfret has a front page story in The Washington Post about the significance of trade with China in the Saturday, Nov. 14 Washington Post. It’s “The Chinese Are Changing Us: Rising global power is reshaping the way Americans do business and live their lives”, link here.

The story focused on Wisconsin, and the quality and quantity of some agricultural exports to China, as well as the overwhelming dependence of American consumers on Chinese imports, often exploitative, based on very low wage work. Chinese imports show up everywhere, in clothes and in computers and electronics, even new home construction. Defective products have been a real problem, such as drywall that has made many new homes in Florida uninhabitable.

Here is a portion of President Obama’s speech in Japan. “Nations need not fear the success of another”, from MSNBC (31 minutes).

The president gave Japan credit for adding to stability around the world and to combating piracy off the coast of Africa.

The president also mentioned his "past life" in Indonesia.

He said that we are at the "brink of ending economic recession" but later mentioned that we were at an "inflection point" (a term from calculus) on the way toward sustainability.

On Monday (Nov. 16) the President said in China that a free speech by ordinary people makes a country stronger and that censorship is not in a country's best interest, but this message was censored! Twitter ands Facebook reportedly are not available in China.

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