(What’s Left of) Our Economy: The Case for Obama’s Trade Agenda Crumbles Ever Faster

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In one very real sense, it’s a crying shame that President Obama’s trade agenda is so completely stalled both at the negotiating table and in Congress. Of course, it’s true historically that trade policy critics have always tried playing for time, believing that the longer international trade negotiations took and the longer Congressional votes were delayed, the better the chances of derailing deals for good. The latter view, further, has been strongly supported by a record showing that when Presidents and Congressional leaders decide the time is ripe for a trade vote, it’s because they’ve (rightly) grown confident of victory.

But if the president’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements were completed and submitted by now, along with a request for fast track negotiating authority, they’d all face an information environment in which the case for such deals is looking weaker than ever.

Just look at what’s happening on the international currency front. Japan is the biggest economy by far included in the TPP (China is out for the time being), and the value of the yen has declined so much lately versus the U.S. dollar that the exchange rate is at a 6-year low. Since Japan is one of the world’s most protectionist economies wherever its currency stands, arguments for TPP’s U.S. export-boosting potential will be difficult to make with a straight face.

The euro, the currency of most of America’s prospective partners in the trans-Atlantic trade deal, is doing better than the yen lately – but not by much. Earlier this month, it hit a one-year low versus the dollar, is a bit stronger this week, but could be heading lower soon with the European Central Bank committed to ever looser monetary policies to stave off recession in the Eurozone.

Meanwhile, another pounding has just been taken by the idea that America urgently needs to secure new trade deals to speed up its sluggish recovery because the vast majority of the world’s consumers live outside its borders. I’ve already reported on World Bank and International Labor Organization data showing that the vast majority of these consumers earn far too little to become robust net importers of U.S. goods and services any time soon.

But as made clear in new, equally authoritative research summarized by The Economist, consumption power in 15 developing countries designated as emerging markets will take much longer to even begin approaching U.S. levels than once believed. According to the magazine, additional World Bank findings strongly indicate that the progress made by these developing countries in closing the income gap has now shifted into reverse. Third world growth rates recently have slowed so that the expected catch-up date with the United States has been moved back from the roughly 30 years that appeared justified before the global financial crisis broke out in 2008 to roughly 50 years. And if China is excluded, the catch-up date now looks to be 115 years off.

In fact, however, the implications of this delayed catch-up are even worse for the U.S. economy than The Economist seems to realize. For the slowdown in emerging market economic growth and the income lag it indicates means that if these countries are to reverse their fortunes again, their economies will need to become even more export-oriented than they already are. And since there’s no reason to think that Japan and the Eurozone will become more open to anyone else’s products and services with their economies stagnant as they were in better times, emerging market exporters will need to target the United States more intensively than ever. For the United States, that would mean even higher trade deficits, slower growth and hiring, and more national debt.

The U.S. interests favoring more trade deals are so powerful and wealthy that, no matter what the facts say, it’s surely still a mistake for critics to start saying “Bring ‘em on.” But unless global economic trends change quickly, their prospects will depend more on lobbying clout, as opposed to the merits, than ever.

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: US Manufacturing Renaissance Claims Look More Imaginary Than Ever

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Eduardo Porter’s New York Times column from yesterday is worth a quick read mainly for two reasons. Not because it sheds much light on its title question of whether globalization is in retreat. Instead, it’s noteworthy because of two valuable contributions to the U.S. manufacturing renaissance debate.

First, Porter joins the tiny band of analysts – including yours truly – who understands the conceptual weakness of claims that soaring labor costs will fatally undercut Chinese industrial competitiveness and become a continually growing bonanza for American factory owners and workers. China’s response, notes Porter, will surely be to “move up the value-added ladder to make more sophisticated stuff. “ The only problem with this statement, as I’ve noted, is that this climb is well underway.

Much more original is Porter’s second contribution. He evidently spoke with two MIT researchers who have looked closely at the corporate announcements of job and production reshoring that have been swallowed by the American media for years. Their conclusions regarding some 50 American companies that are ostensibly joining the reshoring bandwagon, including Apple and GE? “Most have yet to make any move.”

Thus the case looks stronger than ever: If wishful thinking mattered, a U.S. manufacturing renaissance, especially one spurred largely by reshoring and Chinese industrial decline, would already be an undeniable reality. In a fundamentals- and fact-driven world, it’s still a fairy tale.

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: How Tom Hanks Can Become a Real Factory Man

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It seems insane to be giving advice to Tom Hanks on how to make a TV series – something like telling Warren Buffett how to invest. But here goes: It’s vital that he add a coda to the HBO mini-series he plans to produce based on the widely praised book on job offshoring, Factory Man.

The message of the coda: The economic disaster produced by U.S. policies that have sent manufacturing production and employment overseas for so many years far transcends the furniture industry on which Beth Macy’s work focuses. In fact, the demise of that relatively labor-intensive sector and its employees, however tragic for the workers involved, is both yesterday’s news and among the least of the nation’s trade and manufacturing worries. What Americans really need to worry about is the mass offshoring of much higher value production and jobs.

Although I haven’t read Factory Man, I have met its central figure, John Bassett III, and greatly admire his efforts to fight off Chinese dumping and save his family’s furniture business, Vaughan Bassett. But whatever Bassett’s success – and the company’s 700 workers reportedly now generate annual sales of $80 million – the sector still faces a formidable road back to vibrancy.

For example, over the last ten years, its inflation-adjusted output has dropped by more than 25 percent (versus 12+ percent growth for manufacturing as a whole). And measured by a slightly different set of government data, its share of real manufacturing output fell from 2.29 percent to 1.29 percent between 2002 and 2012. It’s true that furniture’s fortunes have taken an outsized hit from the bursting of the housing bubble. But it’s also true that in the early part of the last decade, the bubble’s inflation gave it an outsized boost.

The furniture industry keeps bleeding jobs as well – more than 39 percent of them between July, 2004 and July, 2014. As a result, furniture workers now comprise only 1.94 percent of all manufacturing workers – down from 2.71 percent ten years ago. Real wages for non-supervisory (blue-collar) employees are down 5.35 percent during this period – versus 3.69 percent for all such manufacturing workers. They’re also 20 percent lower. And although the furniture industry’s trade deficit has been worsening faster than manufacturing’s overall, it was still only 3.52 percent of American industry’s total.

Just as important, because furniture is a relatively labor-intensive industry as well as a relatively small one, its travails don’t overly trouble even many commentators who (at least say that they) sympathize with the victims of offshoring. As pointed out in a recent post, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera recently bemoaned the “suffering on millions of people” inflicted by globalization, but approvingly quoted an academic economist who declared, “In reality, we shouldn’t be making bedroom furniture anymore in the United States. Shouldn’t we instead be trying to educate these workers’ kids to get them into high-skilled jobs and away from what’s basically an archaic industry?” And if this is how sympathizers have reacted to Macy’s book, imagine how the offshoring lobby and its government flunkies will tear into Hanks’ movie.

So although Hanks’ interest in offshoring deserves enthusiastic applause, if he really wants to perform a public service and not just jerk tears, he’ll point out that the United States runs sizable trade deficits in pharmaceuticals; semiconductors; telecommunications equipment; the most advanced auto parts; industrial controls; guidance systems; machine tools and machine tool parts; electro-medical devices; ball bearings; construction equipment; autos; steel; and numerous other high value products vital to America’s future as a first world country with first world living standards. These and dozens more sectors are steadily losing share of their home U.S. market to import competition – much of its coming from offshored U.S.-owned or affiliated factories.

Hanks’ decision to bring Factory Man to the small screen is a tremendous and rare opportunity for the nation. But unless he makes clear the full dimensions of job (and production) offshoring, his good intentions could easily result in a tremendous and rare opportunity lost.

Our So-Called Foreign Policy: An China/East Asia Strategy that Feeds the Beast

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I’ve been writing a lot lately about how the mistake America’s bipartisan foreign policy establishment keeps making by relying almost exclusively on traditional foreign policy instruments to safeguard U.S. national security.

Not that military force and diplomacy have lost their effectiveness. Indeed, dealing successfully with the ISIS terrorism threat in the Middle East will be impossible without using the former. But that’s only because for decades presidents have avoided taking the domestic steps – chiefly on the energy and border security fronts – that would have capitalized on America’s considerable ability to marginalize this hopelessly diseased region from its national fortunes, and that have the immense advantage of being much easier to control than events abroad.

Looking for another example of excessive and unaffordably wasteful reliance on standard foreign policy tools and total neglect of more efficient means of achieving stated goals? None stands out like America’s approach to East Asia.

Since the end of World War II, the United States has leaned heavily on large troop deployments in the region and alliances with its major noncommunist countries to keep the ambitions of the Soviet Union and China at bay. Although Moscow has been largely out of the picture since communism fell a quarter century ago, the Chinese threat now appears to be returning – so much so that it’s regularly cited in American defense policy speeches and strategy documents.

I’ve long believed that the United States is so well-armed and so geographically remote from East Asia, and that its economic relations with the fast-growing but highly protectionist region have been such a loser on net, that Washington should withdraw from East Asia militarily. Essential U.S. interests can be much more safely and effectively advanced overwhelmingly by using the decisive bargaining power America enjoys from its status as by far the most important market for export-dependent Asian economies.

But even supporters of the current Asia strategy urgently need to start recognizing that their neglect of less traditional foreign policy approaches is creating needless dangers for the country, not to mention major costs and other economic strains.

In particular, the two leading responses to Beijing’s recent defense buildup and provocations in the East and South China Seas have been a ballyhooed U.S. “pivot” to East Asia aimed at conveying greater American resolve to China, and a broader American military spending rebound that’s being proposed by many lawmakers and pundits to create the deeds needed to more fully math Washington’s words.

But here’s what all factions in the foreign policy establishment keep forgetting – U.S. policies that for decades have boosted China’s economic strength and military wherewithal continue apace. Both President Obama – author of the pivot – and Congress’ Republican leaders have staunchly backed the offshoring-happy U.S. trade policies that have enabled Beijing to earn literally trillions of dollars by racking up massive trade surpluses with America. And they continue to ignore the massive transfers of advanced technology by American corporate giants that have enabled China to build both advanced weaponry and cyber-hacking capabilities.

So thanks to this whopping blind spot, U.S. leaders and much of the chattering class are determined to increase American forces’ exposure to a Chinese military machine that American businesses keep feeding, and to pressure the U.S. economy further by launching a military buildup that can be financed only by raising taxes and therefore threatening the already feeble recovery; by cutting domestic programs that arguably meet important needs at home; or by plunging the country even deeper into debt.

Some would blame this situation on a comeback in the corridors of power by a defense industry that used to be called the “merchants of death.” I’m convinced that the real culprit is a colossal failure of the imagination – which could be much more difficult to overcome.

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: New Fed Data Show as Goes Automotive, So Goes Manufacturing

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The new Federal Reserve industrial production data confirm that U.S. manufacturing’s performance month to month is being dictated lately by a volatile automotive sector. The 0.40 percent August decrease in real manufacturing output was keyed by a 7.63 percent nosedive in combined auto and parts production. This biggest monthly decrease for the sector since May, 2009 followed an even greater 9.25 percent monthly gain in July.

Here are the manufacturing highlights of the Federal Reserve’s new report:

>Inflation-adjusted manufacturing output fell by 0.40 percent on month in August – the first monthly decrease since the depth of harsh winter in January. Leading the way was the worst monthly decline in automotive manufacturing – 7.63 percent – in more than five years, and its first monthly decrease since January as well.

>The August fall-off in overall manufacturing production followed a downwardly revised 0.84 percent monthly increase in July that was sparked by a 9.25 percent jump in vehicle and parts output. Although this figure was revised down from the 10.08 percent increase reported last month, it still represented automotive’s strongest monthly performance since July 2009’s 26.86 percent surge.

>Pre-July revisions in monthly real manufacturing output were revised up – from 0.31 percent in June to 0.33 percent, and from 0.36 percent in May to 0.44 percent.

>Motor vehicle production plummeted in August by 11.98 percent from July’s levels and parts production fell by 3.81 percent. In July, vehicle production soared by 14.47 percent (revised down from 15.33 percent) and parts production improved by 4.64 percent (revised down from 6.01 percent).

>Stripping out the automotive sector, real manufacturing output rose by 0.13 percent on month in August – lower than the downwardly revised 0.15 percent figure.

>Automotive’s swings also helped drag manufacturing’s overall August year-on-year expansion down to 4.02 percent from July’s downwardly revised 5.19 percent figure. Nonetheless, May and June yearly growth numbers were both revised up, and domestic industry’s performance on this score still compares well with its gains in the early spring.

>The August overall manufacturing real production figures also add to a string of 2014 year-on-year increases that have exceeded their 2013 counterparts. Between August, 2012 and August, 2013, domestic industry’s inflation-adjusted output grew by 1.83 percent.

>August’s monthly decline still leaves inflation-adjusted manufacturing output 0.99 percent above its pre-recession peak, achieved in December, 2007.

>The gap between the fortunes of America’s durable and nondurable goods manufacturers remained substantial, but on a yearly basis, the former recently has been losing momentum while the latter has been gaining.

>Real output of durable goods – due largely by the automotive drop – was 0.94 percent lower than August levels. Nondurable goods output increased by 0.24 percent on month.

>Year-on-year, real August durable goods production increased by 5.63 percent – down from July’s downwardly revised 8.02 percent and from June’s upwardly revised 5.91 and May’s upwardly revised 5.79 percent.

>Inflation-adjusted durable goods production is now 8.34 percent above its December, 2007 pre-recession peak.

>August’s real non-durable goods year-on-year production is up 2.21 percent – better than July’s downwardly revised 2.04 percent, June’s upwardly revised 1.55 percent, and May’s upwardly revised 1.70 percent.

>Real nondurable goods output remains 7.45 percent below its July, 2007 pre-recession peak.

Our So-Called Foreign Policy: Hawkish and Dovish Middle East Quackery on Display

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If you’re still not convinced that America’s embryonic campaign against ISIS terrorism in the Middle East is heading toward an epic crackup, check out today’s Washington Post. Its Outlook section features two articles on the subject that are diametrically opposed to each other, fully representative of two major factions in the policy debate, and equally moronic. Especially depressing – each author serves up an explanation for the Middle East’s woes noteworthy only for its looniness.

According to Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, the region is a mess today because America has “walked away from its traditional role as the guarantor of global security.” The mistake most directly responsible for creating the current ISIS threat – and allegedly made by both President Obama and some supposedly isolationist Republicans? Failing to realize that “when the Syrian people rose up in 2011 in protest of Bashir Al-Assad’s brutal rule, our vital national interest was to prevent a protracted civil war in which radical jihadists from all over the world could rush into a vacuum. If they could seize operational spaces, they could use them to plan and carry out attacks against our allies and ultimately America.”

Rubio instead would have taken steps reportedly supported by many of Mr. Obama’s own senior advisors: promptly identifying and arming a “moderate Syrian opposition.” Interestingly, in this article, Rubio did not repeat the charge that the Obama administration needlessly and hastily pulled the last U.S. combat forces out of Iraq in 2011 and thereby helped ensure that the country we tumble back into chaos. But he did express these concerns once the President made his announcement in October, 2011.

There are certainly legitimate grounds for challenging both the President’s Syria and Iraq decisions. But there are no legitimate grounds for confidence that dramatically different policies on either front would have produced lasting solutions to the ISIS problem. On this score, the president is right. Iraqi leaders’ immediate return to score-settling once American troops left proves how artificial that country has been all along, and how far it remains from embracing anything like the pluralism needed for stability and cohesion.

The world’s Rubios apparently believe that decades-long U.S. military presences in places like South Korea demonstrate the need for and viability of patience. But Korea has always had a strong sense of “Korean-ness.” The idea of Iraqi national identity has always been a fantasy – even under so ruthless a dictator as Saddam Hussein. Just as important, the American public nowadays rightly has no interest in open-ended deployments of U.S. troops continually struggling to keep Sunnis and Shiites from each other’s throats.

And if Iraq has always been a disaster waiting to happen, the claim that aiding moderate Syrian rebels sooner would have fatally weakened ISIS becomes fatally weaker. For even if Assad’s most sympathetic enemies could have seized the upper hand militarily in that civil conflict, ISIS would still eventually have faced an open field in Iraq’s vast Sunni lands.

Moreover, more decisive U.S. policies against Assad would have done nothing to deal with the emergence of ISIS-like groups in dozens of other failed and failing states in places like the northern half of Africa. Rubio’s ringing call for “American leadership” to “shape” history and ensure “global stability” is nothing more than an historically ignorant formula for ensnaring the nation in an endless series of costly, bloody, and futile foreign interventions.

The Atlantic Council’s Ramzy Mardini convinced Outlook editors to run an article presenting what might be called the dovish equivalent of Rubio’s hawkishness. Actually, the word “half-hearted” needs be added to both descriptions – for just as Rubio stays conspicuously silent about the possibility of reintroducing sizable American combat forces into the Middle East to fight ISIS, Mardini writes that ISIS poses a problem that the United States should not “ignore.”

But Mardini insists that “while some military action is necessary to defeat the Islamic State,” he argues that this “effort should be driven by regional actors, not a Western power.” Because Outlook editors evidently never got around to asking “Like who?” I will. After all, look what’s happened in the mere days since President Obama’s primetime speech announcing the (current) anti-ISIS campaign. The Sunni countries have devoted most of their energies to proving my argument that none of them is internally stable or cohesive enough themselves to act militarily against an organization that, however abhorrent morally and threatening to their own regimes, uses the word “Islam” in its name. Indeed, just this morning came a report that the best the State Department can do so far along these lines is to claim (anonynmously) that an unspecified number of Arab Moslem states will be joining the air campaign at some unspecified point in equally unspecified ways.

Yet more incompetent than Mardini’s analysis of Arab security policies is his treatment of the roots of Middle East extremism dangerous enough and determined to threaten the United States. According to the author, “to the extent that the group poses any threat to the United States, that threat is magnified by a visible U.S. military role. Obama’s restraint in the use of military power in recent years has helped keep the Islamic State’s focus regional — on its efforts to establish an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East rather than on launching attacks against the United States. It’s only with the U.S. military’s return to Iraq and the prospect of U.S. intervention in Syria that the group’s focus has begun to shift.“

Maybe Mardini is talking about some other ISIS? The ISIS that’s on everyone’s mind now is the one led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Yes, he (reportedly) was radicalized by George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. But if true, what does this say al-Baghdadi? That by the time he reached adulthood, he either was firmly convinced that maintaining the brutal nation-wide prison that Sunni Saddam Hussein created in Iraq was better than any conceivable successor, or that he was so convinced that repressed non-Sunni groups would retaliate violently against the Sunni community that he saw no alternative but extremism himself. Either way, it’s clear that he comes from a culture and society that was thoroughly debased and a breeding ground for savagery – along with the scapegoating of outsiders – long before America’s interventions.

It’s also increasingly clear that both the Rubios and Mardinis and their respective camps have no clue about the most promising long-term U.S. anti-ISIS strategy by far: Concerted efforts on the border security and energy policy fronts by Washington to marginalize the Middle East for America – to ensure that its extremists can no longer reach the U.S. homeland and that the nation and world greatly reduce dependence on the region’s oil. The nation’s opinion editors don’t seem to have a clue, either. Why else would they keep ensuring that their commentary pages – and the national debate – remain monopolized by hawkish and dovish versions of Middle East quackery?

The Snide World of Sports: I’m Boycotting the NFL – and You Should, Too

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Whether or not NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saw the video of star running back Ray Rice cold-cocking his wife, as strongly indicated by a press report, what is beyond a reasonable doubt is that pro football under his stewardship has a major domestic abuse problem. And executives and owners as well as players are a part of it. So I have decided to boycott the league and all of its products, and hope that millions of other fans will join me and others in this campaign until big strides are made toward setting matters straight on all these levels.

Click here for an illuminating the discussion about the admittedly imperfect statistics pointing to a domestic violence arrest rate for NFL players that is off the charts compared to that of other very high income households – which seems to me the most apt comparison. Nor is there any need to demonize the players or any other abusers (of either gender). If they’re mentally ill rather than simply “evil” in the old-fashioned sense, then they obviously don’t belong out free in society or in the workplace until they’ve received years of treatment at the very least.

But the record of pro football under Goodell shows that battering women consistently is taken much less seriously than offenses like marijuana use or profiting from memorabilia (in at least one case, during the player’s college years!). Indeed, over the summer, Carolina Panthers linebacker Greg Hardy was convicted by a judge of threatening and assaulting a woman. Not only has he not been suspended for a moment – he’s starting tomorrow.

The NFL has explained that it’s waiting to act until Hardy appeals the case. And the player of course has that right. But at this point, the innocent-till-proven guilty principle has unmistakably been weakened, and the NFL’s position can only be seen as coddling – at best. As soon as Hardy announced his intention to contest the ruling, the league should have announced that a severe punishment would be meted out if the appeal failed.

It’s now being suggested that, contrary to his claims, Goodell saw or should have seen (assuming his staff really did receive it) the video of Rice knocking out his then fiancée-now-wife in a casino elevator before he announced a rightly criticized two-game suspension. If so, Goodell’s light-handed response to this brutality is grounds for immediate firing. The league, moreover, would be even more deserving of a boycott. Again, even if the tape doesn’t prove Rice’s villainy, it certainly reveals a deeply sick individual needing 24/7 treatment over a very long period.

But even if Goodell never saw that video, the case for keeping him in the job is weak. Goodell clearly had seen a video of Rice dragging the unconscious woman out of the elevator. Just how did the commissioner think she got into that state? The scenario most charitable to Rice is that Janay Rice provoked an altercation and he acted in self-defense. But it’s hard to believe that a mentally healthy world-class athlete couldn’t have restrained her without a KO. Further, if Goodell’s office did receive the video but the commissioner never saw it, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that an effort to create plausibility deniability was being made. If not, then given the gravity of the issue, he’s open to charges of simple incompetence as an administrator.

Goodell’s defenders point out that Rice was never even brought to trial by Atlantic County, New Jersey prosecutors. So why should the NFL be so much stricter? Let’s leave aside what a pathetic commentary was inadvertently made by chief county prosecutor Jim McClain on his approach to this violent crime. Goodell and pro football should have been stricter because it was clearly within their power to be stricter. Moreover, the league would have made an important, needed statement about this behavior without dragging Rice’s wife through a public trial – ostensibly McClain’ prime concern. But Goodell chose a wrist-slap. In the process, he figuratively dealt another blow to all past, present, and domestic violence victims.

By the way, I’m aware that many innocent NFL employees, like vendors, would be hurt economically by a large-scale boycott. But if the campaign reaches critical mass, the league and its teams are certainly wealthy enough to pay them for as long as it takes, and would be morally obligated to do so.

(What’s Left of) Our Economy: Don’t Play Taps for China Just Yet

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It’s getting to be a familiar pattern: Western analysts add to the mountain of predictions that China is cruising toward a major economic bruising. And data from China at the least sends a dramatically different message.

The China bear meme of the moment has been generated by two Asia-based Merrill Lynch analysts, who argue that the People’s Republic “may be entering an asset-deflation phase” and therefore is in danger of falling into the deflationary trap from which post-bubble Japan has been struggling to escape for two decades. No less than BusinessWeek and TIME have picked up the study.

These claims come on the heels of years’ worth of proclamations that China is rapidly losing its manufacturing competitiveness, largely because its labor costs are rising so fast.

All of this may be true. Certainly, China has its share of big economic problems – and consequently big political, environmental, and social problems, too. But talk about bad timing! The Merrill Lynch report was written up just before the release of new data from Beijing showing that, in August, China’s monthly trade surplus hit its second new record high in a row.

The $49.8 billion excess of imports over exports brought the PRC’s year-to-date surplus to $199.61 – 28.24 percent higher than last year’s comparable total. And although there’s ample reason to be skeptical of all Chinese economic data, China’s July surplus of $47.3 billion tracks well with Census Bureau statistics showing that China ran a record $30.08 billion trade surplus with the United States that month. (The August U.S. figures will be out Oct. 3.)

The second piece of evidence undercutting “whither China” speculation was released today, in the form of U.S. figures on import prices. These Labor Department statistics showed that between July and August, Chinese goods (overwhelmingly manufactures) bought by Americans got cheaper faster (falling in price by 0.1 percent) than all manufactures imports (down 0.09 percent). And year on year, prices of Chinese imports have been rising at only about half the rate (0.19 percent) than manufacturing import prices overall (0.35 percent).

Years of recent official and policy establishment bullishness about the U.S. economy haven’t prevented the current recovery from remaining historically lousy. Don’t count on similar bearishness about China to have significantly greater effects.

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