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Open Letter to Rep. Mike Michaud

18 March 2010

Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME)
U.S. House of Representatives
Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

Dear Rep. Michaud:

Seeking legislative action against Americans who trade with the Chinese, you say that “China’s currency manipulation essentially subsidizes Chinese exports and imposes tariffs on foreign imports.  This presents an insurmountable trade barrier to U.S. manufacturers.”

After you’ve succeeded in denying Americans access to the lower prices and larger quantities of goods made possible by Beijing’s current monetary policy, will you and your colleagues take similar action against Silicon Valley?  After all, firms there famously engage in technology manipulation, which – by improving the productivity of nearly every industry in the economy – essentially (as you would say) subsidizes production of countless industries and imposes tariffs on the outputs of workers who compete with these advanced techniques.  Such advanced techniques present an insurmountable barrier to the ability of many such workers to continue in their old jobs.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030