The world has never known a better fight promoter than Don King. From Muhammad Ali to George Foreman to Mike Tyson to Roy Jones, the man who gave us the Thrilla in Manila and the Rumble in the Jungle loves the business and loves a good fight.
Author and columnist Gordon Chang, on the other hand, has only promoted his books, but like King, he loves a good fight and thinks it's time for the U.S. to pick one with China.
"They might bluff, they bluster, the American business community will whine a little bit, but they (China) won't do anything, and the reason is they know they're tied too closely to us and in a trade war," he says. "We win -- because we have a large domestic market, the largest in the world, and they know that they need to sell things to us."
In fact, Chang says, we don't even need a trade war with China, we simply need to enforce the trade deals that have already been agreed upon. Take piracy, for example. Chang says a study by the International Trade Commission showed that if China only modestly enforced intellectual property laws, it would save U.S. companies $48 billion and prompt them to hire 923,000 more Americans stateside.
But what about the fact that China is our largest creditor and currently holds more than $1 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt? Doesn't that undercut our ability to lecture anyone, least of all China?
No, says Chang as he unearths another factoid.
"They should listen to us because in 2010 149.2% of China's overall trade surplus related to sales to the United States," he says. "China has effectively gotten there by lying, cheating and stealing."
Chang says many of the current problems are linked to what he calls ''premature integration" as a result of the U.S. pushing for China's entry in to the World Trade Organization. If we simply enforced all the trade deals we had with China things would be a lot better. Instead, we sign up new deals and forget about the old ones. This is very bad trade policy."
"We should be standing up for our rights in the international system," he says. "This whole system could fail. If we don't enforce it and have some standards everything just disappears."
As ominous as that all sounds, Chang's ''fixes" require only political will to implement rather than any tax increases or budget cuts. Even so, don't expect a groundswell of trade enforcement to crop up anytime soon.
Tells us what you think. Should the U.S. stand up to China on trade and piracy and enforce what's already been agreed upon, or simply leave things alone and not stir things up? Comment in the section below, or send an email to us at email@example.com.