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Should the U.S. play hardball with China on trade and other economic issues?

Tuesday, 22 May 2007 | 11:14 AM ET
Cranes stand on a construction site in front of newly completed apartment buildings in Beijing.
Greg Baker
Cranes stand on a construction site in front of newly completed apartment buildings in Beijing.

"Playing hardball will only put up more barriers instead of allowing for intelligent conversations to find a way to resolve these economic issues in a reasonable manner."
-- Jerrett, Massachusetts

"I believe that window has closed since China possesses so much U.S. debt issues."
-- Neal, Maine

"Yes – to the extent that we have any leverage/bargaining-power left with the Chinese. And we may not."
-- Kurt W., Arizona

"It amazes me how the politicians are selling out this country to keep inflation low and their contributions from corporate America flooding in. In a decade or so the Chinese will be playing military hardball with us and guess who financed it."
-- Larry A., Ohio

"If we don't play hardball with China, they will see us as weak and controllable."
-- Pete C., Delaware

"As long as we value saving a dollar at Wal-Mart over the long term consequences of our actions as a nation, it's extremely unlikely we'll be playing hardball with China."
-- Paul, New Jersey

"We pay full price for Chinese goods, it is only fair that they pay full price for American music, movies, textbooks, software, patents, trademarks, pharmaceutical royalties, technology, and other intellectual property. Also stop the illegal copying of our goods. They copied a Chevy so well that the parts were interchangeable, albeit lower quality. They even copied Starbucks. Had we demanded this from the start the economic factors would have fallen in line."
-- D.S.

More comments...

"We are now in the position to negotiate from weakness. China has the majority of the marbles and they can do whatever they want to do. Any changes they make will be made because they think it will benefit China in the long run."
-- Tom C., Ohio

"Yes, it’s time we quit playing footsy with China. Allowing those who steal our intellectual property and intentionally manipulate their currency in a major way are unacceptable behaviors. Action is needed now.”
-- Ron W., North Carolina

"Yeah -- let's play hardball -- and while we're at it, let's give them the bats, the balls, the gloves and what the heck, let's give them the field cause that's what this current administration is good at -- giving everything away."
-- Linda M., Pennsylvania

"Let us play fair trade and stop this free trade bluff. U.S. needs China and China needs the USA. Nixon was right then and his policy is ever more relevant now. We need more non-enemies."
-- Bala W.

"We shouldn't fear China. Our economic and social strength is much greater than theirs."
-- Paul, Washington

"We're not in a financial position to play hardball. Most likely we should play softball with China. We need their investments and their purchases of Treasuries that support our government budget. If they were to stop investing in our country, we'll be up the river without a paddle, and there will be major lay-offs, and our economy will be drastically affected."
-- Tony T., Alabama

"We're not in a financial position to play hardball. Most likely we should play softball with China. We need their investments and their purchases of Treasuries that support our government budget. If they were to stop investing in our country, we'll be up the river without a paddle, and there will be major lay-offs, and our economy will be drastically affected."
-- Tony T., Alabama

"I don't think the U.S. is in the position to play hardball with anyone economically."
-- J.C.

More comments...

"It is a bad idea to make the Chinese increase the value of their currency. All you will do is increase the cost of goods here causing inflation. If you want U.S. companies to keep jobs here rather than exporting them overseas we should eliminate all corporate income tax on production here in the U.S."
-- Peter R.

"Play hardball."
-- D.

"Hardball? We give them most favored nation status, allow them to send us unsafe and contaminated products, and they treat their workers like serfs. It would be nice to have trade with China but so far it's been a U.S. give away."
-- Ken

"Yes."
-- Edward K., Nevada