Stronger, more stable African countries are also good for our security. Some parts of Africa, like Mali and Somalia, have had significant problems with extremist groups. Extremists have a much harder time gaining a foothold and recruiting when a countries people are making money, putting food on the table, and being supported by an effective government.
American workers can compete and win on a level playing field, which is why China's cheating--through artificially depressing its currency and other unfair trade practices--is so damaging. While currency appreciation has occurred, keeping it artificially low hurts our economic competitiveness and undermines the trust that is essential to a strong relationship. That doesn't mean we should start a trade war--that would hurt our economy just as much as it would hurt China's. Instead, our goal should be a level playing field that treats everyone fairly, and that includes cracking down on unfair practices, such as unreasonable market barriers and Intellectual Property theft, that often break China's commitments to us and the rest of the world.
A: Reagan believed a strong and stable dollar is the keystone of an integrated world economy. The dollar's universal acceptance since the 1940s as the world's final money has in fact been the single biggest force for globalization. This legacy is now under pervasive assault. The generation-long capitalist boom is over. Global trade talks have little if any traction, while bilateral agreements negotiated with such allies as Colombia and South Korea languish in Congress, unacted on year after year. It would be hard to find a major trading partner that hasn't expressed public dissatisfaction with US monetary policy, particularly in regard to our management of the dollar. If he were alive and politically active today, where would Reagan be? My own guess is that Ronald Reagan, never one to demonize a policy debate, would identify the problem as systemic and would be barnstorming for yet another big change in the way the world works.
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