How to be anti-Chi­na and pro-trade

How to be anti-China and pro-trade

Pro­tec­tion­ists have a mag­ic word, a word of tal­is­man­ic pow­er. The word is “Chi­na.” So potent is its spell that it shuts down any argu­ment for free trade, how­ev­er tan­gen­tial the con­nec­tion to the dread­ful regime in Bei­jing (about which, for the avoid­ance of doubt, I am more hawk­ish than most).
Chi­na makes politi­cians lose all sense of pro­por­tion­al­i­ty. Nev­er mind that U.S. man­u­fac­tur­ing has risen in val­ue from $1.5 tril­lion to $2.5 tril­lion since Chi­na joined the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion in 2001; or that the sec­tors exposed to Chi­nese com­pe­ti­tion have cre­at­ed jobs faster than the rest of the econ­o­my; or that the few fac­to­ry jobs lost in those sec­tors have been replaced by more, and bet­ter-paid, jobs in design, research, and mar­ket­ing; or that Chi­na has a bet­ter record of com­pli­ance with WTO rul­ings than the U.S. has.

Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, right, and Chi­nese Pres …