Hillary Borrows from Bill's China Playbook

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 27, 2007

Back in 1992, Bill Clinton campaigned against the first President Bush by attacking his coddling of “the butchers of Beijing” in the aftermath of June 4th. Today, after countless Made-in-China scares, Team Clinton believes that there’s little downside in again criticizing the Chinese. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a blogger on Hillary Clinton’s website posted a long statement from the candidate attacking the Chinese.

Earlier this week in Iowa, I discussed the continuing threat of unsafe imported toys and laid out a strategy to confront it. In response, the Chinese government called my criticisms ‘slander.’
This is the same government that just this month revoked the licenses of more than 750 of its toy companies because of quality control problems and ordered another 690 to renovate or improve their facilities….And the Chinese government’s watchdog agency reported earlier this year that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China pose safety risks.

That’s prompted some surprising pro-Clinton praise from, of all places, the National Review, where blogger Jim Geraghty writes “Boy, I’d like to see a Republican candidate kick around the Chinese for lead-paint-tainted toys the way Hillary Clinton does.”

Just wait, Jim. We still have over a month to go before the Iowa caucuses.

Meanwhile, Hillary’s not the only Western politician who’s peeved the Chinese lately. Peter Mandelson, the former Tony Blair cabinet member who’s now the EU’s trade commissioner, was in Beijing yesterday and criticized China for not doing more to stop a “tidal wave” of fake goods from Chinese factories flooding into Europe. According to the South China Morning Post (registration required), he added that Chinese officials say that more than 99% of Chinese-made products are safe, yet “Europe imports half a billion euros worth of goods from China every day – so even 1 per cent is not acceptable.”

Vice Premier Wu Yi, in charge of tackling the safety problem, was not pleased. “I am extremely dissatisfied,” she told reporters. Mandelson, to his credit, not only didn’t back down but cleverly ramped up the pressure by borrowing a famous line from Deng Xiaoping. The fact is, China is the source of much of the world’s counterfeiting, Mandelson said. And, as Deng used to say, “We must seek truth from the facts.” I’m sure Wu was just thrilled to hear that.

Reader Comments

Bob

November 28, 2007 9:42 AM

I'm not sure which is worse...the fact that I am commenting on this drivel or the fact that you're providing a forum for the indecisive, flip flopping, flim, flam queen who represents NY.

Does she have a real opinion of her own that she is brazen enough to risk sharing? She handled Governor Spitzer, but did so behind closed doors and made the man take the fall for her because "his" emboldened actions(wrong or right) might mean harm to her campaign! So when are we going to address the issues Spitzer really was pushing the nation to address especially in the realm of national security?

Anyone who is astute and saavy enough realizes that at the end of the day Hillary will coddle and cuddle with the Chinese if elected. She's says what she thinks her "constituents" want to hear or she's been informed they'll respond to. Even William Jefferson had difficulty shying away from the Chinese and my suspicion is that Hillary has received (and will recieve) her fair share of campaign support from our Asian "friends." Let her deny it and let us have access to "all" of the financial records.

Furthermore, responsibility for the lead issue lies where exactly? Admit it, we are lax in our enforcement both at the corporate and government levels. The signs have been there through many decades, but what did we do it about it (this was even discussed in other BW articles over the past months)? Additionally, please keep in mind (my PR spot for the Chinese) that not all of the recalls dealt with lead, but they also addressed products that were unsafely designed regardless of where they were manufactured (e.g., the magnets that could come loose and be swallowed). It just so happens that nearly two-thirds of the toys manufactured for the U.S. market are manufactured in China so that country has received the brunt of the abuse and fallout and news agencies continue to stir that pot as the holidays approach.

If you want to speak to the issues, speak to human rights issues since the Olympics were awarded to China. the window dressing was enough to earn the prize from an international body, but what has been done lately and what has really changed? Speak to substantive changes in business and personnel practices and treatment. The record really is poor despite the sustained and anticipated economic growth of that nation.

Please get off the reactionary soap box and stop tugging at our nation's emotions. The fact is this years crop of toys could quite possibily be one of the safest in years as it is not in business's interest to risk more negative publicity.

Let's turn to relevant issues not the fact that Hillary wants us to believe she's going to tackle and alter the course of our relations with the Chinese monster.

gulfbridge

November 28, 2007 5:31 PM

Bob is absolutely right. Hillary Clinton is a complete fraud. Just like her husband. If the electorate is silly enough to actually vote for her as president, they deserve all the consequences of doing that.

zhengfuhu

November 29, 2007 12:52 AM

Be fair and resonable, there is no country in the world that can claim 100% no defects of their products.

Suggest that you stop importing our goods,you have the right of talking nonsense.

Fuhu Zheng
Investment Banker
Beijing, China

Christine

November 29, 2007 1:17 AM

Hillary Clinton fails to mention to the American public that she served on Wal-Mart's board for 6 years prior to Bill's run for presidency and held $100K in Wal-Mart stock. No record of her raising product safety issues back then. Her law firm in Arkansas handles a lot of Wal-Mart's Arkansas based legal issues.

Wal-Mart is China's biggest customer bringing in more than their fair share of made in China goods. They're largely responsible for getting Americans addicted over the years to cheap prices at the benefit of those who had vested interest in Wal-mart's growth and success.

Rick Krizman

November 29, 2007 10:48 AM

If you go to her website and read the full satement you'll see this.

"This is the same government that just this month revoked the licenses of more than 750 of its toy companies because of quality control problems and ordered another 690 to renovate or improve their facilities, even as it asserted that 99 percent of toy exports met quality standards. And the Chinese government's watchdog agency reported earlier this year that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China pose safety risks. That is unacceptable."

This is a fair statement and is not China-bashing. It points out in a reasonable tone that China admits an unacceptable percentage of unsafe toys and is already taking stepts to control it. Furthermore, if you read her plan to solve it, the plan says nothing about sticking it to China and totally puts the onus on us to create controls and inspections, etc.

The fact that she had business with Wallmart in the '80's is irrelevant. If anything, it's good to know that she, like everyone else, is part of the dynamics of a global economy.

Not that I'm a huge Hillary fan, however...

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