Chinese telecom equipment firm Huawei Technologies was not pleased with a congressional report that it is a risk to national security because its products could be used to spy on America. Huawei officials said the comments are "little more than an exercise in China-bashing."

While that many not be true, they come at a time when President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have both seized what they call unfair China trade practices as the cause of losses of millions of U.S. jobs. Each has promised that China's advantages in trade, which are said to be helped by currency manipulation and dumping of goods, will not continue. The House has tried in the past to vote through a law that would require the Administration to label the People's Republic a "currency manipulator." If it caused the president to use that label, that in turn would trigger a large number of sanctions and tariffs, which almost certainly would result in a trade war.

The Huawei Technologies debate will sharply escalate trade tensions just ahead of the election.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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