The NYT has a major article today that begins by telling readers about Asimco Technologies, which it describes as: "an auto parts manufacturer whose plants dot eastern China, would seem to underscore Mitt Romney’s campaign-trail complaint that China’s manufacturing juggernaut is costing America jobs."
The piece then tells the story of two Michigan factors that Asimco bought and then shut down. Then we get the big punchline, Asimco is owned by Bain Capital. There you have it, Mitt Romney who complains about policies that lead to job loss to China, profited from job loss to China.
This gottcha doesn't pass the laugh test. Romney's point is that we have policies in place, the most important of which is an over-valued dollar, that make it profitable to ship jobs to China. The issue is the policies that make it more profitable to manufacture in China than in the United States.
We generally expect businesses to try to make it money, so it really should not be surprising that businesses move manufacturing to China if it is more profitable to produce goods there. In that context it is not especially surprising or in any obvious way contradictory for Romney to be associated with a company that has shipped jobs to China.
If we have policies that make manufacturing in China more profitable than manufacturing in the United States it would be foolish to think that jobs will stay in the United States because businesses are committed to their U.S. workforce. If this sort of ethic ever existed, it has long since passed. The key to keeping manufacturing or any other type of job in this country is to have policies that make it more profitable to produce in the United States.
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