Tales from the Trail

Loss of U.S. jobs to China becomes powerful election issue

In Pennsylvania, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Joe Sestak, accuses his Republican foe Pat Toomey of favoring China over hard-working Americans.

In a new website, the AFL-CIO pointedly tracks the loss of U.S. jobs to China and other cheap-labor countries.

With about a month to go more the Nov. 2 election, Democrats and their friends are pushing as a potentially pivotal issue the export of U.S. jobs.USA-CONGRESS/LEVIN

They believe, or at least hope, it will resonate with American voters worried about the economy and their own financial futures.

A memo by consultants Stanley Greenberg and James Carville suggests Democrats could use concern about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to help stage an “October surprise” and retain control of the House and Senate in next month’s election.

Obama handles China delicately

It’s too early to tell whether President Barack Obama’s new approach to China will be more successful than his predecessor’s. But this week’s high-level dialogue in Washington underlined how the balance of power is shifting. CHINA-USA/OBAMA

The U.S. side, determined to be more respectful and less confrontational, tiptoed around the sensitive issue of China’s currency, avoiding any public appeal for an upwards revaluation in the yuan.

There was a passing reference to the rights of China’s ethnic and religious minorities, but no sign the other side would take any more notice of foreign interference in its internal affairs than it has in the past.