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Sheen Narrates Film on China Threat

James Hirsen By Monday, 10 September 2012 10:37 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A new documentary is focusing attention on an issue that has frequently been raised by the Mitt Romney campaign and also remains of paramount concern to real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump.

“Death by China” is a movie based on a book that was co-written by filmmaker Peter Navarro, who is also a business professor at University of California, Irvine.

The movie, which opened in limited release in selected cities, is already generating controversy. Critics seem to be sharply divided, with Variety calling the film a “lucid wake-up call to the imminent dangers of the huge U.S.-China trade imbalance and its disastrous impact on the American economy” and The New York Times referring to it as “unabashedly one-sided” and “short on solutions, other than the usual ‘Call your Congressional representatives.’”

China trade policy is a key topic that is currently being discussed in the ongoing presidential campaign. GOP presidential nominee Romney has drawn a distinct contrast on the issue with President Obama, promising that on the first day of a Romney presidency, his administration would brand China a currency manipulator and ensuring that action would be taken against job losses due to the Asian nation's illegal maneuvers and its repeated theft of intellectual property.

One of the things that is surprising about the documentary is that its filmmaker, Navarro, happens to be a Democrat. In 1996 he ran as a Democratic candidate for the 49th Congressional District but lost to Republican Brian Bilbray. Additionally surprising is the fact that the film is narrated by Hollywood actor and lifelong liberal activist Martin Sheen.

The movie sheds light on the adverse economic impact that has occurred as a result of our nation's dealings with China. It contends that the trade deficit with China has caused more than 50,000 American factories to shut down and has also resulted in the U.S. owing a debt of more than three trillion dollars to the world’s largest totalitarian nation.

After China was allowed to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and was granted unlimited access to American markets, the Chinese did not follow the WTO rules but instead utilized illegal subsidies from the Chinese government, including free land, subsidized energy, and low and no-interest loans.

In addition, the currency manipulation that the Romney campaign has made an effort to highlight has enabled China to undervalue the yuan and greatly reduce the cost of the country's exports. Furthermore, the Chinese have failed to take steps to control the rampant counterfeiting, piracy, and looting of American intellectual property that are significantly harming the American economy.

At the same time that China was exploiting its own workers and engaging in appalling human rights crimes, it has been flooding America with illegally subsidized exports. The illicit profits are being spent for an unprecedented military buildup that already poses a serious threat to the region, the West, and our own country.

“There’s nothing subtle about what’s happening,” Navarro told Bloomberg. “It’s an economic death because of China’s unfair trade practices and the loss of the U.S. manufacturing base. Also, literal death because of the loss of consumer safety: toothpaste, baby formula, a dizzying array of products.

There are also human rights abuses — China’s forced labor camps. There’s a chilling discovery in the film about how people are being taken out of labor camps and their organs are harvested. Also, the military buildup of China. It’s an evocative title, yes, and it has multiple meanings.”

“Death by China” may end up convincing viewers that the best jobs program for our nation is trade reform with China.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.

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Monday, 10 September 2012 10:37 AM
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