Monday, October 09, 2006

Levin critical of DeVos on China trade

Carl tells it like it is.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Carl Levin says the conditions Amway Corp. agreed to so it could sell products in China undermined work by Michigan lawmakers to tear down trade barriers there against U.S.-made goods.

Levin, a Detroit Democrat, told the Associated Press in a recent interview that Amway acquiesced to discrimination against U.S. products by the Chinese government and restrictions on selling U.S.-made goods on the Chinese market.

He takes exception to comments made by Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos that, while he was Amway president from 1993-2002, he "competed in China and won." The direct-sales company invested $200 million in China to build a factory there because China would allow Amway to sell only goods that were made there.

Levin said he was troubled by DeVos' address to the state Republican party convention in late August when the businessman said "there is only one candidate in this race who has ever run a manufacturing company. There is only one candidate in this race who has competed in China and won."

Said Levin: "That characterization to me is so off the mark, runs so contrary to what we have to do, what we need to do, to reduce this trade imbalance.

"That's not competing and winning for Michigan," he said.

Levin said he recognized that not "any one company can knock the barriers down. But when a candidate for governor calls that competing and winning, he is undermining the effort to knock down these barriers."

The U.S. has a record $202 billion trade deficit with China and critics say China's currency is undervalued by up to 40 percent, making Chinese goods cheaper for American consumers and U.S. products more expensive in China.

Michigan lawmakers also have criticized the country's record on intellectual property rights, accusing it of leading to billions in dollars in lost revenue because of counterfeit auto parts.

Amway has made billions in China.

One wonders- where is all that money? Dick certainly hasn't brought it back here.