Here's a quick primer on what the candidates have been saying, and where American manufacturing can travel in the next few years. Expect a crescendo on China next week when the candidates spar at the next debate.
Henry Kissinger's call for cooperation between China and the United States are "wise words" that deserve attention. But his ability to judge the character and capabilities of the Chinese Communist elite are questionable.
Romney is heating up his offensive on the China trade issue. His campaign blog just released a page promising he "will ensure China plays by the rules," and blaming the Obama administration for not doing so, starting with currency manipulation.
The truth is that no matter how much China may allow its currency to appreciate, certain jobs just aren't coming back. We need sustainable, well-paying jobs. Jobs that play on America's competitive advantages of high-value manufacturing and services.
What are the connecting threads between these two recent Mitt Romney news items -- the announcement that he's not enrolling in Medicare, and the revelation that Bain Capital helped him make money helping the Chinese government spy on its people?
Romney's emerging economic strategy is clear: blame China. Not only does this get the heat off of GOP-linked constituencies like Wall Street, it also skewers the administration that has played appeaser to Beijing.