In Iowa, Mitt Romney "rips" China's unfair trade practices

Posted by scapozzola on 12/19/2011

Okay, so the whole world knows that China illegally manipulates its currency, artificially subsidizes its industrial sector, and dumps product into the U.S. market. 

Taken together, these practices give Chinese exporters a huge jump on their competition, and U.S. manufacturers are furious. In fact, an Economic Policy Institute (EPI) study found that the currency peg and other subsidies have combined to dramatically boost the U.S. trade deficit with China, costing 2.8 million jobs over the past decade.

Is it any wonder, then, that the American people overwhelmingly want action on China, according to recent polling?

This past Friday, presidential candidate Mitt Romney blasted China for "ripping off American innovations and artificially keeping its prices low so U.S. industries can’t compete," according to the Des Moines Register.

The Register's Tony Leys reports that Romney promised on his first day as President that he would "declare China a currency manipulator, which would allow him to invoke tariffs on its products":

“I’ll look at what they’ve done with regards to stealing technology, intellectual property, designs, patents and so forth, as well as where they’ve hacked into computers to steal technology, and we’ll apply those tariffs where I believe they’re necessary to make sure that they understand we’re not going to allow them anymore to play on an uneven playing field,” he said at a Missouri Valley Steel factory, which makes equipment for companies that fabricate metal parts.

Romney emphasized that he believes in free trade, because he said America’s industries can compete with any other country’s when the game is played fairly. “In the past, it didn’t make much difference, because we were so strong and everyone else was so weak, America could just out-compete anyone in the world. But now we’ve got some stiff competition.”

Romney's message was well received by voters, and the Register reports that Carl Harrison, a retired manufacturing executive, attended Romney's speech and liked what he heard:

Harrison, 75, of Sioux City is the retired chief executive officer of the factory’s parent company. He said the company is “doing OK” after several lean years, but it and similar firms could do better if they could compete more fairly with China. Getting tough with the Chinese “would make a tremendous difference,” he said. “They’re treating us like fools.”

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