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No, Andrew, I won't shut up on China

By Lou Dobbs
CNN

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(CNN) -- Every so often, a member of the economic orthodoxy decides to attack me personally in print. Today I'd like to address a column in The Philadelphia Inquirer, with this question as its lead: "Will China's decision to unpeg its currency to the U.S. dollar make Lou Dobbs shut up?"

This was written by a nasty piece of business by the name of Andrew Cassel, who calls me "pompous," "portly" and a "protectionist."

First, let me answer Cassel's question: No, it won't. By the way, Andrew, bad timing. The People's Bank of China now says that the 2 percent revaluation of its currency is a one-time deal. Now, we'll see whether that turns out to be the truth, but either way, it ain't enough. Nor will it be to salve our projected $170 billion deficit this year with China. And Treasury Secretary John Snow, who hails this revaluation, can't say with any specificity at all what U.S. exports to China could possibly benefit.

And Andrew complains that in every report on this broadcast, as well as in the interviews and commentary, that I bash China and demand that America get tough with China. No bashing, Andrew, unless you consider my reference to China as a Communist, authoritarian nation as bashing. I notice, instead, you call China quote, "A country with one-party rule, a weak legal system, poor environmental record, and so on."

As to "get tough," Andrew: I'm guilty as charged. If we don't demand a reciprocal trade relationship with China, there is absolutely no limit to our potential deficit. I want expanded U.S. trade with China, it's just that I prefer the Chinese balance the relationship with purchases of U.S. products and services. Andrew, that is called balanced trade, not protectionism.

Finally, Andrew, you and your ilk are nothing more or less than corporate supremacists, and your mindless faith-based understanding of economics is what got this country in this mess in the first place.

Now, I'll leave the "portly" discussion, if I may, for another day.

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