been an eye-opening visit," said Charles Schumer. Now that he has seen China for himself, he is "more optimistic that things can be worked out". Perhaps then he and fellow traveler Lindsey Graham will further postpone or even cancel the vote on their proposed tariffs on all imports from China. Either way, the measure has little chance of becoming law. Though the senators claim enough support to override a likely presidential veto, I don’t think the bill could muster enough votes to pass the House. Almost certainly, the House would not have the required two-thirds majority to override a veto.
But perhaps Schumer and Graham won’t let it come to that. They said that their meetings with Vice Premier Wu Yi and Commerce Minister Bo Xilai were enlightening, as the Chinese leaders showed them just how thin of a margin most Chinese firms operate on, and how a massive revaluation would have disturbing consequences. As Wen Jiabao put it recently, it is not the fault of the Chinese that Americans spend more money than they make.
If these senators really want to help, they should be promoting the one thing that really could bring China’s economy into line with the rest of the market-oriented world: letting the people own land. On that note, The Economist has published a survey of China this week, available now online. Most of the content is for subscribers only, but there are two excellent pieces for free here and here.