U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney keep promising to be tough on China. Although their grievances are legitimate, simple-minded China-bashing is a dumb way to pursue them. Both countries will have to wise up if they want global trade to work to their benefit.
Romney’s pledge to declare China a “currency manipulator” as soon as he takes office is probably an empty threat. As Romney well knows, such a move -- tantamount to imposing trade sanctions -- would have little effect on China’s policies and spark a trade war that would hurt the U.S. at least as much as China.