Report from America: Hot Springs, Virginia

By August 5, 2005Report from America

report.jpgThe blogger-in-chief is down here at The Homestead, toughing it out with all these other corporate supremacists at the Council of Manufacturing Associations meeting. For a bunch of corporate supremacists (“CS’s”, for short), they sure are a nice group of people. No matter, a very interesting lineup:

— We opened with a nice speech from our own John Engler, who reviewed the many Congressional successes of this past month, owing to the great activism of the folks in the room and their members. Going back a ways there was class action, bankruptcy and then, in this last burst, energy, CVD, the highway bill and CAFTA. He thanked them for their help and looked head to clear skies and the telecomm bill, among others.

–He was followed by Ted Fishman, author of China, Inc., a sinologist and a very interesting guy. Among other things, he noted that China now has some 85 million private businesses (as compared to about 26 million in the US). Shanghai has 5,000 buildings over 15 stories, mostly residential, to accommodate the influx of folks who are moving from the farms to the cities. At the moment, there are about 100 companies making cars in China. At the end of the day, he cautioned that we needed to address the intellectual property issue with China, finding that critically important. Among the other nuggets are his observation that many of our attitudes on China are built on fear, not fact, going further to say that many of the issues we have with China are really issues that we have with ourselves. (Like the 22% cost differential, maybe?) At the end of the day, he said we need to get over our demonization of China, a sentiment echoed in the New York Times editorial on the day he spoke.