James Fallows writes an interesting piece, entitled, “Broader point about Geithner, Obama, China, and ‘manipulation’” setting out his concerns on how the Obama administration is treating/going to treat China.
To summarize what Fallows says (and hey, if I am not summarizing it properly, go ahead and attribute it to me) is that Obama is clearly capable of nuance. The key financial and diplomatic people Obama has brought into his administration are clearly capable of nuance (i.e. Geithner, Hillary Clinton, et. al.). Obama and his people have done a good job so far in recognizing the complexity of the issues facing the administration, and in seeking to formulate practical solutions to resolve those issues.
But here is where the disconnect starts. During the election campaign, Obama’s expressed views on China were both simplistic and jingoistic. For examples of this, check out the following:
Barack Obama On China. Say It Ain’t So . . . .Oh But It Is.
Obama And Clinton And China As Though It Actually Matters.
But the accepted view on Obama’s less than enlightened comments regarding China was either that he did not really believe what he was saying or that once elected, he would study up on the issues, apply his intellect to them, and start sounding more like George F. Kennan than Sarah Palin.
But with the recent needlessly antagonistic comments about China by the Obama administration, Fallows and I (or maybe it is just me) are starting to wonder when the eduction of Obama on China will kick in. Now mind you, I am NOT criticizing the Obama administration regarding its China policy, but I am criticizing it for crossing China without any good reason for doing so.
What do you think?
UPDATE: ChinaBizGov blog did posts entitled, “Don’t Worry About Geithner’s Words on China’s Currency” and “Redux: Why Geithner’s Words Don’t Matter (Yet),” essentially saying, “don’t sweat it.”
FURTHER UPDATE: The Financial Times just did a really good story on this, aptly entitled, “Counterproductive currency quarrel.

Print:
EmailTweetLikeLinkedIn
Photo of Dan Harris Dan Harris

Dan is a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

He primarily represents companies doing business in emerging market countries, having spent years building and maintaining a global, professional network. 

Dan is a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

He primarily represents companies doing business in emerging market countries, having spent years building and maintaining a global, professional network.  His work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

He was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), is rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (also its highest rating), and is a recognized SuperLawyer.

Dan is a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and constantly travels between the United States and Asia. He most commonly speaks on China law issues and is the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog. Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed Dan regarding various aspects of his international law practice.

Dan is licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at his firm, Dan focuses on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.