China: Manufacturer for the World? with Vast Amounts of Slave Labor to Employ and the Help of Western Corporate Leaders to Build Manufacturing Plants, China Is Fast Becoming the Manufacturer for the World

Article excerpt

In a gambit few could have predicted, China is becoming a foil in the game to create a North American Union. Since the liberalization of China's economy after the Tiananmen Square massacre, China's manufacturing sector has shifted into high gear.

According to some, the upsurge in China's economy is the reason why the Mexican economy has not performed better since the signing of NAFTA. "The 'giant sucking sound' Ross Perot used to talk about is back, only this time it is not Mexico sucking away American jobs. It is China sucking away Mexico's jobs," William Greider, the national affairs correspondent for The Nation, wrote in that magazine in 2001. This, Greider argued, could provide an impetus to integrate Mexico and the United States. "This is an opportunity to change the politics in both countries," he wrote. "The relationship would borrow a lot from the European Union's economic integration of rich and poor nations ranging from wealthy Germany to low-wage Portugal and Spain. The European Union delivers substantial aid conditioned on democratic standards and labor rights, implicitly encouraging rising wages in the poorer countries .... A North American union, in addition to North/South development aid, would require concrete legal obligations: If U.S. taxpayers are asked to invest in Mexico's future, U.S. commerce cannot be allowed to enjoy NAFTA benefits, then pick up and leave whenever it sees fit." Greider has not been alone in seeing Mexican competition with the Chinese as a rationale for forming a North American Union (NAU).

This has been noted as well by Robert Pastor, the chief intellectual architect of the current scheme to create the NAU. Discussing the options for deepening the integration of the North American nations in the article "North America's Second Decade," in the January/February 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs, Pastor alleged that several types of "reform" in U.S. policy would be needed. "The reforms," he said, "would also make Mexico more competitive with China."

China has had a devastating effect not only on the Mexican economy but, more importantly, on the American economy. Twenty-five years ago, our nation could point to 19 million manufacturing jobs. The number today has shrunk to less than 14 million. Jobs are going overseas at an increasingly rapid rate, mostly to China. A look at what has occurred in the textile industry alone is instructive. According to the National Council of Textile Organizations, China now controls half of the U.S. apparel market in product areas where quotas have been removed.

It's reasonable to wonder how a communist-led nation could become an economic power. The answer is that, by itself, it could never have accomplished what it has done. China has become a significant producer because U.S.-based corporate interests have infused it with money, infrastructure, technology, and business savvy. They have even moved their plants to China. They have done so, in large part, because they have been actively encouraged to do so by the U.S. Commerce Department; because their China ventures are bankrolled by U. …