Should the US once again decide to "turn within," it would likely not be as straightforward as before. Today's economic system is dependent on global trade and capital flows, outsourcing needs, and the exploitation of inexpensive labor and resources.
The gradual erosion of the U.S. dollar's status as the world's reserve currency has been greatly hastened of late. This is due not only to the perpetual gridlock in D.C., but also our government's inability to articulate a strategy to deal with the reported $126 trillion of unfunded liabilities.
Late last month, China's new president, Xi Jinping, undertook his first trip abroad as head of state. With the country's leadership transition now complete, it is an appropriate moment to reflect on the evolving U.S.-Sino balance of power.
Unless the Obama administration intervenes, the U.S. may soon have to depend on one of China's wealthiest and most politically-connected Communist party leaders for access to taxpayer-funded technology that will power the next generation of satellites and military vehicles.
The United States' trade policy is left over from the 20th century. We are utilizing the same policy and fighting the same battles we did in 1985. But it's not 1985 anymore and the world has changed dramatically. We need a trade policy for the 21st century.
It's past time for America to stop being a spectator to global trade abuses, with our hands bound by either our diplomatic sensitivities or corporate short-sightedness in valuing short-term profits over the long-term viability of our national economy.
The latest noteworthy example of China's protection of its industries -- and its 'rest of the world be damned' behavior -- is it's allowing its steel industry to duck yet another global environmental initiative.
Whether it is nurturing more innovation, retraining unemployed workers, or reining in our addiction to debt, the only thing standing in the way of the U.S. from solving its problems is U.S. leadership.
Without question, the rise of China has been a major factor in our nation's loss of manufacturing jobs. However, there is growing evidence that China's challenge to U.S. manufacturing has peaked, and its competitive advantage is in decline.