Whoa. Jon Huntsman is completely in his element in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, talking shop about economics, foreign policy and China in an interview with WSJ’s Alan Murray. Joining him is Chinese entrepreneur Zhang Xin and Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. When you read the whole thing (and we hope you will) try to picture ANY candidate (including the President) speaking with this much intelligence and expertise on global economics.
MR. MURRAY: Is currency manipulation a real problem?
MR. HUNTSMAN: Of course. It’s gone on for a long time. The renminbi has appreciated 30% in the last several years. It will continue to at a rate of maybe 5% to 8%. Because China is driven by its own interests to revalue the renminbi based upon market realities, they will arrive at a point in the years to come where they’ll have more of a market-based currency. Whether we tell them to do it or not, they will arrive at that point.
You certainly don’t impose tariffs. As a former trade ambassador, I’m not sure how you do it through the World Trade Organization. There’s no provision that allows one to do it through the WTO. It’s unprecedented. And then what happens? The Chinese will then take the case to the WTO. Two years are wasted on nonsense. And you’ve blown through bandwidth that otherwise should’ve been used on intellectual-property protection, expanding market access for financial services and insurance, and working on regional security issues.
MR. MURRAY: Do you think anyone will cast their vote based on the candidates’ views about China?
MR. HUNTSMAN: In those town-hall meetings we have, we talk about rebuilding the manufacturing muscle in America. How is that going to happen? We talk about the tax reform that will be necessary, the regulatory fixes to create a more transparent and predictable environment. You talk to folks about rebuilding our manufacturing muscle by taking advantage of the investment that flows in a knee-jerk fashion into the China market and has for a long time.
That’s changing. Unemployment’s going to spike in China. With unemployment you’ve got a larger itinerant work force roaming the countryside. That puts pressures on the large eastern cities, and that results in political instability and uncertainty.
And I think the investment dollar that always just lands in China is going to be looking for an alternative. This country would be absolutely nuts if we didn’t position ourselves to be that alternative. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we can start taking the steps to manufacture here.
That’s just a sampling. We have the opportunity to elect someone who has a true understanding of global economics at a time in which we desperately need one. Read the piece and see why Jon Huntsman has the most foreign policy experience of any candidate for President since George H.W. Bush.