@Hmmm, I dig a little regarding the currency manipulator report and found that there are not necessary huge tariffs even when China is labeled as a currency manipulator. The name of a currency manipulator sounds a big deal, but in the reality the treasury department can still negotiate with its Chinese counterpart to avoid massive tariffs. I suspect this is what Romney is going to do if he is elected.
Also, I glad that you point out that it is the American consumers that will be hurt most directly after a trade war with China. However, politicians and main street media do tell people that. Why should they? They do not want to lose one of biggest leverages they have towards their biggest competitor.
Your zillion pounds bag story also confirm that it is American consumers who choose Chinese made products. Businesses adjust their merchandises accordingly. However, most American consumers just do not realize the fact. I thing I learned in my early age is that true politics can only be understood by minority of the whole population. Most population are either ignorant on true politics or accept the surface of politics for their own interests.
@Casey, I found your experience to be very extreme among Americans living in China. Many American friends of mine have either visited China or lived in China more than a year. None of them has experience near yours. Rather than hiding their American identifies, they are proud of showing themselves as Americans to the common people in China.
Also, there are thousands of American businessman doing business in China everyday. China is still a preferred place to business with. I never heard any extreme case like yours, not even in American mainstream media.