China Business, Internet

Barack Obama and Krispy Kreme Want to Get into China’s Business

China franchising

Two things the United States should not be exporting to China right now are our economic mess and our fat-laden diet. Yet, Barack Obama and Krispy Kreme are planning/seeking to do exactly that.

In a Wall Street Journal story, entitled, China-Trade Issue Thrust Into Races as Vote Nears, Senator Obama makes clear the believes the United States should be dictating to China what China should be doing with its own economy:

In a letter released Wednesday by the National Council on Textile Organizations, a trade group, the Illinois senator vowed to address industry complaints that China is manipulating its currency to gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Sen. Obama said China’s massive trade surplus with the U.S. is a direct result of “manipulation of its currency’s value,” and stressed “China must change its policies, including its foreign-exchange policies.” Sen. Obama said China’s economy must rely less on exports and more on domestic demand for growth. He said he “will use all diplomatic means at my disposal to induce China to make these changes.”

In a lighter vein (quasi pun intended), Krispy Kreme recently announced plans to open 35 stores in China over the next five years, in Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin. Krispy Kreme will do this through its franchisee, the Korean retail conglomerate, The Lotte Group.

I am certain China will reject Senator Obama’s “diplomatic” attempts to mess up its economy but I make no prediction on how Krispy Kreme will do there.

What do you think?

UPDATE: China Hearsay [link no longer exists] seems similarly troubled by Obama’s recent China pronouncements. China Hearsay takes the position of wishing/hoping/maybe even predicting this will all go away during an Obama presidency. Obama has a long history of making and then retracting foreign policy pronouncements (an undivided Jerusalem, a ban on ALL toys from China, and the US re-writing NAFTA immediately spring to mind) so we are left with hoping he really did not mean what he said, which is certainly not an unreasonable hope when dealing with an American politician running for the presidency.

10 responses to “Barack Obama and Krispy Kreme Want to Get into China’s Business”

  1. What about the claim that Obama was going to signal the end of American arrogance? Makes me think America just can’t help it.

  2. Oh, and you spelled his name wrong again. No offense, but you’re going to have to get these things straight if he gets elected 🙂

  3. I think there’s a loose correlation between having a good China policy and being a bad president.
    Nixon was the first president to visit and implement a policy of rapproachment with China, whom he saw as a friend. As we know, Nixon resigned right before being impeached for tapping phones and burglarizing the Democratic National Convention office.
    Rapproachment and normalization continued through through Ford, Carter, and even the rigid bastard Regan.
    Then after the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 the US imposed economic sanctions and moral censure which precluded a warm relationship through the prosperous Clinton years.
    Recently George W. Bush’s policy toward China has returned to rapprochement which among most other 911 foreign policy, is surprisingly enlightened. Bush even went to the Olympics; a simple gesture which meant a lot to the Chinese. The United States and China are closer today than any time since 1949. And Bush’s approval rating is the second closest to 0 than any other time since Gallup.
    What’s Obama’s view of China? “…China is rising, and it’s not going away. They’re neither our enemy nor our friend. They’re competitors. But we have to make sure that we have enough military-to-military contact and forge enough of a relationship with them that we can stabilize the region.” Low hopes for the Sino-American relationship; Obama will make a great president.
    John McCain on the other hand, the hawkish candidate who is more likely to continue a heavy-handed American foreign policy around the world, said explicitly in the debates he does not think we should think of China as our competitor. A wise view. What a terrible president he’ll make.

  4. The Chinese have neither found a liking for American bakery sweets like donuts nor the inclination to pay high prices for the privilege (note Bread Talk is not American, not in product, taste or pricing). Sure, opening 35 stores in five years in major cities of China doesn’t seem a stretch, but profitability? Doubtful. Still, kudos to the Korean Lotte Group of Japan for persuading an American company of some heft and seemingly experienced management to give them franchise rights in mainland China. Well, if it worked in Japan (where Lotte Group is a major concern) it must work in China? Yeah? You think so?

  5. But isn’t that adolescent chest-thumping compulsory for all candidates, especially Democrats, in all elections? If he wins, he’ll soon find out, possibly the hard way, that his authority does not extend beyond America’s borders, and life will go back to normal, won’t it?

  6. How are Obama’s comments ‘dictacting what China should do with its economy’? Exchange rate manipulation is purely to do with international trade and therefore a valid issue to be raised between trading partners.

  7. If I’m not mistaken, I think the Krispy Kreme’s in Hong Kong seem to be closing down (or are under renovation).
    Also, I kind of reject the idea that it is “American” food or whatever that is causing the current health crisis. To be specific, it’s animal products, processed foods, sugar, vegetable oils, and salt that are causing the crisis. Many of these are made by American fast food outlets, but many or most products are made by Chinese companies, and have little to do with the US. Ironically, if you look at the “China Study”, China used to have much lower rates of cancer and heart disease in the areas of the country that ate a primarily plant-based diet 30 years ago. But the massive shift towards animal products (with the dire consequences of what that has done to the environment, ie massive desertification from over-grazing (dust storms), hundreds of million of pig sh*t going into water supplies, massive release of CO2…etc) is really going to present a challenge towards Chinese society and policymakers.
    But anyway, I think Obama’s comments aren’t too out of line, especially in the context of traditional China-bashing before elections. This election, from both sides, has seen minimal China-bashing from a historical standpoint. Trade issues and currency rates are fair game for both sides, in my opinion.

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