With supporters and big donors increasingly concerned about his poll numbers, Wisconsin Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker came out with some impressive rhetorical Kung Fu moves against China.
In a written statement released by his campaign, Walker demanded that President Obama cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit next month at the White House.
“Given China’s massive cyber attacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy, and persistent persecution of Christians and human-rights activists, President Obama needs to cancel the state visit,” Walker said. “We need to see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.-China relations.”
“President Obama needs to cancel the state visit,” Walker said.
As China’s collapsing economy triggers a broad-based sell off in the global stock market, our relationship with Beijing and global trade in general takes on even greater significance. While Donald Trump has thrown off strong language about our “pathetic” negotiating skills vis-a-vis China, he has yet to lay out a clear picture of how he will handle issues such as the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership.
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This presents an opening for other candidates with a populist anti-Washington message.
Like clockwork, shortly after news of Walker’s tough stance emerged, the GOP’s free trade absolutists pounced. Over at National Review, the role usually played by the CATO Institute is being played by understudy Kevin Williamson.
Beijing must be beaming to have so many devoted representatives slogging away for them in the U.S media.
“Governor Scott Walker, who seems to have been drinking out of the same punch bowl as Bobby Jindal, today demands that the Obama administration cancel the state visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping, in part to protest Beijing’s ‘continued state interference with its economy,'” Williams wrote Monday. “Ace idea, governor. Can he get Janet Yellen to deliver that message? Penny Pritzker? Maybe Warburg Pincus would give Tim Geithner the afternoon off to run this very important errand.”
Beijing must be beaming to have so many devoted representatives slogging away for them in the U.S media, ready to brand anyone who questions global trade deals as “protectionist.” No wonder Williamson and so many in the corporatist wing of the GOP dislike Trump.
The whole notion that we can’t criticize how China manipulates markets because we have a government that also sometimes interferes with a pure market system is absurd. That’s like saying we couldn’t criticize the Soviet Union for its human rights record because we sometimes supported allies who didn’t have a perfect record on human rights.
The scale of our interference with the market – such as it is – cannot even be compared to the situation in China, which is simply not a market economy at all.
Walker may have just started his own trade war with Trump and Bush. Desperate? No, it’s smart, which is more than I can say for his answer(s) to the birthright citizenship question.