The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

The united states should take action against China for manipulating its currency

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,382 times Debate No: 20437
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Presidential canidate Mitt rommney called the current state of affairs between the U.S. and China a 'Trade War'. He has rallied many americans with strong anti-china rhetoric, proclaiming "They're stealing our jobs and we're going to stand up to China." He is not alone. Many on both sides of the isle have pushed to label china a 'Currency manipulator'.The house voted 378-to-79 on H.R. 2378,the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, to do just that. It recieved bipartisan support but failed to get through the senate.

This house believes that the united states should not take action, such as bring a case before the WTO and/or allowing impose a tax on Renminbi-to-dolalrs conversion, on china for manipulating its currency.
I will argue that this would do more harm then good on a net benifits scale
1.Though evidence and citation is not nessesary, outside information especially numbers should be recent and valid. We're on the honor system, Nobody wants to spend their time looking fictious information. (Historical examples are inhernetly not recent, ovbivously these are exempt)
2. Criteria will be net benefits
2. Main arguements
4.Response to rebuttals and voting issues (2 paragraphs max)

Prospective challanger,
I invite you to debate the resolution before us, and those in the peanut gallery spectating, what I hope to be a riveting debate, I invite you chime in with your comments. This doesn't have to be a dull subject.

I have planted my flag.Now, I will pour myself a cup of coffee and wait.
Best of Luck


I accept.
I finaly get to refute a China DA. (NFL stuff/ toppic this year)
He's here
Debate Round No. 1


This is a precarious position, Though it doesn't appear I'm essentially arguing status quo. Without knowing what kind of action the Affirmative wants to take, I will argue that any action that the federal government could take would do more harm than good.


United states: United states Federal Government

Action: the bringing about of an alteration by force

Manipulating: to change by artful or unfair means

currency: money, contextually as the Renminbi


The U.S. has a mutually beneficial trade relationship with The People's Republic of China. In a global economy, such as that of the United States, a division of labor that spans the globe is not only favorable; Its necessary. American companies compete in a global market for their goods. Though some jobs have left America, It would be a mistake to look at the growing exports of china and assume that placing 'tariffs' on them would bring those jobs back. In a time of economic downturn, with unemployment hovering at 8.5%, the temptation for policy makers to blame another country for its economic woes is tempting. It is fashionable to openly talk about china as the sinister threat looming overseas waiting to take YOUR job. Indeed it has found a captive audience in blue collar America. They rally behind the simple proposition of "If Congress just did 'X' we could wrangle our precious jobs back from china once and for all" I'm reminded of the words of H.L. Mencken "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong". following to the bitter end with that logic, U.S. law makers have proposed taking actions against china for keeping its currency artificially low. They argue that the hand of the Chinese governments have given their (Chinese)businesses unfair advantages, and those advantages are not allowing American companies compete fairly in the global market. Since both countries are members of the World Trade Organization(WTO) Allegations of tampering with currency would carry severe economic consequences against the violator in question. These same lawmakers have called for a tax on Chinese imports to make up for the 'subsidies' the government gives. Such attempts are misguided

Moving to label China as a currency manipulator would force the United Sates to accept the same title

This house concedes that china has manipulated its currency. So has the United States.

Since the crash in 2008 the Federal Reserve has expanded its balance sheet from $870 billion in December 2007 to $2.65 trillion in April 6, 2011(1). The federal reserve did this in two rounds of 'quantitative easing' whereby they purchase outstanding U.S. debt. It takes a second to sink in that is is essentially introducing new money into the supply. Chairman Burnanke had a host of reasons for doing this, and this debate will not concern itself with disputing those, but it serves as an observation that the united states has also manipulated its currency. China holds $800 billion of U.S. debt, it scares the bejesus out of them to see the dollar devalued.(2)

Since both countries are members of the WTO and their membership requires them to justify actions against with the organization, Any case brought to the WTO regarding china's manipulation would be met with case against the united states for its currency manipulation. If the United States can justify an action towards china to the WTO, then china can certainly justify an action against the United states with the same audience. This would hurt the United States greatly.

Seemingly the only benefit of going down that avenue would be to impose a tax that would compensate for the distortion of the Renminbi. I Have just shown logically what would follow if such action was undertaken. The backlash would be a similar tax placed against American products not just in china, but worldwide. The harms of this are self evident. But lets go down the yellow brick for debate sake, Lets say that the action could be observed without a response from other nations. Policy in vacuum.

The motivation behind such a policy is inspired by the idea that American jobs would flock back to America, that without this handicap America manufacturing would be able to rise to its once great height, subduing its communist competitors, and consumers would rush to buy American products leaving Chinese gathering dust on the shelf.

As I said, these attempts are misguided.
For one, A rise in the renmenibi would hurt American companies and force Americans to pay more for the same products.
Lets dispel what the notion that Chinese exports are replacing American products. Case in point: The iphone.
The iphone is the quintessential product to examine, What could be more American? The iphone is assembled in china and arrives on American docks with the price of $179 . The pro would see that and lament over the $179 that left American wallets and into the pockets of our competitors overseas. The truth is a bit more complex. The iphone is assembled in china for sure, but its components are imported from other countries: Japan, Korea, Germany. Of the entire cost of the iphone, the cost spent to assemble it in china is $6.50. however the entire amount $179 is calculated into our trade deficit. The Bogey man looks allot less scary up close. The $6.50 that china keeps is the pot of gold at this end of the rainbow the pro pursues. One would think policy makers would look to take away the jobs of the Germans, who manufacture the GPS system and rake in a much more generous take, rather than look to the horrible factories that Foxconn operates(the ones where conditions are so bad workers are threatening a mass suicide) with envy of what could be.
The rise of the Remenibi would elevate the cost of Chinese goods in America. If American and Chinese products compete something like this would seem welcomed, except that they don't. For most of the goods bought that are made in china there is little American substitute. The things we import from china in great numbers are things that American consumers buy: "T-shirts, sneakers, and plastic toys — things that we were importing from other countries long before China's rise as a supplier"(3) A rise in the price of these goods will hit millions of Americans, mostly the poor, as their Real spending power decreases. The shareholders of apple don't see are extra dollar in profit, nor do any of the companies involved in making the iphone, and most importantly the customer pays more! Made in china is dubious "Stanford University economist Lawrence Lau found that Chinese value-added accounted for about 37% of the total value of U.S. imports from China. (5) The case that Chinese companies are benefiting from currency that so do American companies.

On a net benifits scale any action the Federal Goverment could take would be more harmful than good to America.

There is mountains more of things here, but atlas the coffee has run out and I'm nearing the end of my shift at work. I am interested in to see where the Pro takes the case. It is with modesty I submit my contentions,
you have the floor

(If there is something about the source/citations i could clear up i'd be happy to just leave a comment, I think i got them all)
2. (under 'Less Provocative Alternatives')


My arguments
1. REM (rare earth minerals)
China currently owns 85% of the Earth's know reserves and with it having the majority of the REMs as soon as they start stiff arming them the western world will rapidly run out. China stiff armed Japan with REMs in order for them to release a fisherman.
The U.S. can't make enough on it's own to prevent collapse. U.S. has only one mine in production and it would take 15 years to start seeing benefits.
2. WTO was gone 10 years ago did you miss 9-11
3. a war against China would bring jobs therefore boosting the U.S. economy and furthermore the world economy.
4. U.S. has better military We've got a better military? Marines and stealth vehicles and better Naval forces.
5. China can't fight us we've got the auto industry and we would drag Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the NATO with us.
Debate Round No. 2


I had high hopes for this debate.
My opponent has some interesting ideas about a coming war with china, but I don't thnk this is the forum for that Topic.

1.This is the slipperiest of slopes. Yes, china manufactures the vast majority of rare earth metals. The name is dubious, this metals are 200 more common than gold. Used in the production of most 'green energy', batteries, military equipmet, the blackberry uses them.This is crucial, The United States will not collapse without these metals. I don't understand how this leap is made. But just to ease any anxiety out there China only has 30% of the worlds supply(1) (they found a 1.5 million tons of it in afganistan)

Even so, I hording this meterial to stiff arm the west? This is such a falacious claim. Chinas economy is at the mercy of global trade, shutting that down to 'stiff arm the west' is not a likely scenario. Even so, The united states and the 'west' would only need to stop exporting food. We can live without blackberrys, they can not live without imported food.
2. Your confusing the World Trade Center(WTC) with The World Trade Oraganization(WTO) and No I did not miss 9-11
3.A war against china would devaste the world economy inluding our own. You have nothing to support your claim
5.Just to put things in perspective, China has enough nuclear weapons to make every continent on earth uninhabitable.

Not that any of that had to do with this debate.
Since none of my arguments were disputed they should flow there for consideration from the voters.
Thank you


1. Hello, China has 85% and does all the manufacturing of REMs, so even if Pakistan had X- amount then they can't do didly squat with it.
2. my bad
3. Lets take this a step back. One jobs boost the economy by putting money in Americans pockets, Right. Yes, the same thing happened during the New Deal. Money in Americans pockets means they can buy things, right. Now lets go to the point so I don't waste your time. Men go over seas and the women get hired to work in factories to make weapons.
4. point extended, if we've got the better military then we simply win the war...
5. China has less then the U.S. in nuclear warheads. And a war with China would mean the whole world against them.
6. I did too refute this. IPhones are made of REMs smart one.
7. The U.S. tariffs the imports they get to make a profit that is what were here for.
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you everyone for making it this far

1. 85% of the market place supply comes from china, however it only has sits on 30% of the worlds know resevors. Its afghaniston, not pakistan.(I'm reminded of that scene in charlie wilsons war)
Again, The United States would not 'collapse' if china held back rare earth metals. Their not vital, we can do without blackberries. The chinese can not do without a food supply. China can not grow enough food to feed its 1.6 billion people. There would be a maassive famine without shipments of food from the united states and the world

3.If you ever wondered why nobody ever publically talks about the 'new deal' its because most economiost agree it didn't work. I understand the WWII example. Look at the countries in eroupe that particapted in that: their lands, cities, infrastructre were all dessimated. England went from being a super power to a non-player. War is terrible.

4,5: If china has enough nuclear warheads to make every continent on earth uuninhabitable, why would it need a single warhead more?
6. you've completly missed the iphone anylisis
7. Because As i've explained it would hurt the U.S. Business and Consumers more than it would help. I made the case for it, one that was left simply untouched.

So if you skipped all that i don't blame you. Heres the fact: On a net benifits scale not taking action against china would result in the status quo plus, onein which we're all living and enjoying the prosperity of an improving economy(so much so that we have time to go online and debate wild hypotheticals). Taking the pro on net benifits we have World War III with men fighting overseas and woman working the factories so we can conquer china. and secure an endless supply of lithium batteries.

Con benifits more people


1. first the world isn't over populated early last year Obama did the math. The whole world population can fit into Texas if it is as cramed as New York City
3. The New Deal did work of the U.S. would've been been taken over by radicals like the rest of Europe.
4. I said the U.S. has more than China. and we've got Ground Based Lasers to intercept warheads heading to the U.S. so we'd be safe in that category
Vote Pro a take over of China would benefit the U.S.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 6 years ago
That's what im struggling with
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 6 years ago
What action would we take against them?
What action would we take against them that could legitimately be enforced, and to a positive effect?
Posted by ConservativePolitico 6 years ago
Thats much better.

I'm tempted to take this... Hmm.
Posted by Lesterfreeman 6 years ago
To date, Has the U.S offically labeled china a currency manipulator? In rhetoric they have, but offically labeling it would carry consequences. Labeling china a currency manipulator would involve bringing a case before the WTO and/or allowing congress to impose a tax on Renminbi-to-dolalrs conversion. I have looked and am hard pressed to find any news of the U.S. doing this, If you would clarify ConservativePolitico I would be much obliged.
I'ved edited the resolution a bit to make it a clearer debate. I appreciate the comment, the original resolution was vague.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 6 years ago
Lol we've already labeled them as that
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had a long well thought out argument... lannan was well... his usual self. Great win for Con.