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Settling our Chinese panda debt

I am shocked that economists and businesspeople aren’t paying much attention to the news that best symbolizes America’s precarious economic situation. I’m talking, of course, about the impending departure of Tai Shan, the adolescent panda born and succored at the National Zoo, who, under a long-standing loan deal with the Chinese government, must be sent to China early next year.

Great. Another trade pact based on an indifference to the hard work of American zoologists that guarantees a trade imbalance with our biggest panda creditor, China. Ask any union boss, and he’ll tell you that America’s permissive trade arrangements, particularly those with China, account for today’s double-digit unemployment and soaring foreign debt. Sure, China might have some kind of “comparative advantage” in its suitable natural panda habitats. And, yes, it was a fair deal for the four years Tai Shan was on loan, and it might be that we simply bought more than we could pay for. But, man, that panda debt is hard to settle.

By Stephen Stromberg  | December 4, 2009; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Next: Bad move, Sen. Baucus


China is having the DC panda snatched by the Repo Man.


Posted by: MikeLicht | December 4, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The author shows that he is simply another person with a horrible misunderstanding in economics. The protectionist sentiments of this article are part of a disturbing trend from the free trade we have become accustomed to in the 1990s.

By the way, who made union bosses the economists of America?

Posted by: mchen37 | December 4, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't like Baucus much, for several reasons...

but the specter of an old hen like Marcus clucking about it is too much.

Better she examine some of her own...(she never will).

Posted by: whistling | December 7, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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