A Better Peace?
Like any patriot, I’ve got a problem with this:
U.S. manufacturers say they’ve learned to compete against China’s lower wages. What they can’t compete with are government subsidies that enable China to sell some finished products for less than the fiber alone costs in the United States.
The difficulty is in the solution. I’ve got my reservations about such manifestations of internationalism:
In an effort to mitigate the possibility of the Chinese dumping textiles, several members of Congress have called for the International Trade Commission to monitor Chinese textiles more closely now that the quotas are expiring. …
She initiated a case with the WTO to get China to stop its allegedly unfair trade practices, but it probably will be up to the incoming Obama administration to decide whether to file a formal case. China would face sanctions, such as penalty tariffs, if it didn’t agree to stop violating trade rules.
No doubt, international organizations help to smooth the flow of history, and they probably do much to avert war. I wonder, though, at the cost of history with no sharp edges, as I wonder who benefits most from negotiated peace. The former will yield no satisfying answers until an edge pokes through the veneer and we all observe how well the tear heals. The answer to the latter would seem to be “the aggressor.”
An aggressive nation like China will seek ways — in front of and behind the podium — to influence votes on any relevant council, and the outcome will be the imposition of various members’ desires. On the other hand, if the United States acted alone, explicitly matching China’s nakedly self-interested actions, the Chinese market would be harmed, and escalation would be its call.
In general, I think our state-to-state federal system works because national patriotism exists. There is no such emotion, and no fortified culture, behind international federations. In part for that reason, they bind the hands of those who follow the rules and hesitate to trip up those who do not.