Current Obama Campaign Disagrees with 2008 Obama Campaign on Trade with China

Posted by LDonia on 06/15/2012

During yesterday’s campaign speech in Cleveland, OH, President Obama spoke about the U.S. manufacturing sector’s upward turn.

“Manufacturers have started investing in America again -- including right here in Ohio. And across America, we've seen them create almost 500,000 jobs in the last 27 months -- the strongest period of manufacturing job growth since 1995.”

We’re pleased the president recognizes the importance of the manufacturing sector as a key component of America’s economic recovery, however we’re disappointed that the topic of trade with China was noticeably absent from his speech.

Image_of_YuanBy contrast, Obama’s opponent, GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, held a campaign event 250 miles away in Cincinnati, and mentioned trade with China in his stump speech.

According to the Associated Press, Romney criticized the president's policies toward China and said that, if elected, he would label the country as a currency manipulator.

The Associated Press reports that this prompted Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith to say that “Threatening to label China a currency manipulator is reckless and unnecessary.” Further, the AP says that Smith thoughht Romney’s remarks on China were a “campaign year conversion.”

This is ironic. As we’ve mentioned on this blog in the past, in April of 2008, then-Senator Obama took a hard line on China at a forum hosted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).

Said candidate Obama at the time:

“The problem is that, for all the tough talk of George W. Bush, he is a patsy when it comes to negotiating these agreements. And what we need to do is to just be better bargainers and say look, here’s the bottom line, you guys keep on manipulating your currency, we are going to start shutting off access to some of our markets.”

This four year old statement raises a reasonable question: What will it take to get President Obama to start shutting off access until China revalues its currency?  Was this just reckless and unnecessary rhetoric…a campaign year conversion, perhaps?

Image of Yuan by Flickr User jimmiehomeschoolmoms and used under Creative Commoms license.

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