China's state-run newspaper criticizes Romney on trade; Obama campaign calls it a "must read."
Today's tempest in Washington, DC...
Beijing's official news mouthpiece, Xinhua, has taken Mitt Romney to task for his criticism of China's predatory trade tactics.
In an editorial, the state-run news agency said that Romney wants to start a trade war and has been hypocritical in his business dealings:
"It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician's wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics."
Unfortunately, the Obama campaign chose to trumpet Xinhua's editorial, with deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter tweeting that it was a "must read."
The campaign's enthusiasm for the Xinhua item has subsequently generated considerable criticism throughout political Washington.
Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul wrote on Twitter that he was "horrified" by the comparison. RNC chairman Reince Priebus also offered criticism on Twitter, calling it "offensive" that the Obama campaign would cite China's "propaganda paper" for campaign purposes.
As AAM sees it, however, both candidates are guilty of some glaring inconsistencies when it comes to their rhetoric toward China:
- In 2008, then-Senator Obama promised strong action on China's undervalued currency. Subsequently, the Obama Adminstration has refused seven times to designate China as a currency manipulator.
- While Mitt Romney has campaigned on a promise to take action on China's currency manipulation, his running mate, Paul Ryan, voted against a bill to penalize China for its illegal currency peg. Similarly, Romney has stated his opposition toward relief for U.S. tire workers facing surges of heavily subsidized imports from China.
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