How to make China a tiger hungry for American exports

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is correct that a market-determined Chinese yuan is important — for the United States and China — and therefore, U.S. policymakers should continue to encourage China to take meaningful steps toward that goal (op-ed, “Combating currency misalignment,” June 20). However, of even greater significance to the long-term policy goal of reducing America’s trade deficit with China is helping to activate China’s 1.3 billion potential consumers — which requires greater market access for U.S. and other financial services firms.

Last year, the United States exported to Japan goods and services worth $60 billion — about the same as to China ($55 billion).  But China’s population is 10 times Japan’s population of 127 million. If China’s citizens were to consume American-made goods and services at the same rate that Japan’s citizens did last year, the United States would export more than $610 billion worth of goods and services to China, 11 times what America exported to China last year, an amount equivalent to 5 percent of America’s GDP, and more than twice what it imported from China last year — replacing the trade deficit with a significant surplus.

Chinese households save as much as half of their incomes because most Chinese depend on their families and private savings to pay for homes, retirement, healthcare and the economic consequences of accidents or disasters. Access to financial products and services such as mortgages, credit cards, personal loans, pensions, retirement savings and insurance products would dramatically reduce the need for such precautionary savings and facilitate greater consumption.

The fastest way for China to develop the modern financial system it needs is to open its doors to foreign financial services firms. By providing the products and services that China’s citizens and businesses need to save, invest, insure against risk, raise standards of living and consume at higher levels, foreign financial institutions (including U.S. providers) would help create what every U.S. manufacturer and service provider wants — an unleashed Asian tiger hungry for U.S. products.

~From John Dearie, The Financial Services Forum, Washington

Advancing a legacy of overpopulation

As an immigrant who used to prepare amnesty and other immigration applications, I wish to respond to your article, “Senators Webb, Tester, McCaskill are key votes” (June 20).

In the last 15 years alone, more than 50 million people have been added to the U.S. population, most due to immigration-driven increases! If our population continues to grow at the rate of the last decade, even without another amnesty, by 2100 — within the lifetimes of today’s children’s children —the U.S. will have India’s current population! All newcomers, U.S. and foreign-born, will need water, energy, education, healthcare and many other costly social services that the taxes most pay will not cover.

Do President Bush and other amnesty advocates in Washington realize what they are leaving behind to their own children and grandchildren by promoting virtual unlimited immigration?

~From Yeh Ling-Ling, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America, Oakland, Calif.