Missed Opportunities on Trade and Jobsby C. Fred Bergsten | September 30th, 2011 | 05:16 pm
By taking three steps to improve the United States’ trade imbalance and boost exports, President Obama and Congress can create three to four million jobs at no cost to the Federal Budget.
First, the United States must, in effect, weaken the dollar by 10 to 20 percent—an action that would by itself produce one million to three million jobs. Because the artificially low value of the renminbi amounts to a subsidy on Chinese exports and a tariff on imports from the United States and other countries, the United States should also take China to the World Trade Organization in Geneva for engaging in illegal competitive currency devaluation and retaliate if China does not cease this protectionist policy.
Second, the United States must more aggressively combat foreign regulations, monopoly practices and other barriers to the export of American services, which make up 80 percent of our economy. The US could expand services exports by at least $200 billion a year by completing a free-trade agreement with South Korea and pursuing other trade accords.
Third, we must more vigorously defend the intellectual property rights of our companies against theft and piracy by foreign companies and governments. A recent study by the International Trade Commission suggested that Chinese companies alone, with support or at least acquiescence from their government, are stealing $50 billion to $100 billion in United States products each year.
For more details please see my op-ed in the New York Times.