My take on Romney and China
As the Associated Press is reporting, former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave a speech today in Redmond, Washington to "outline trade policies he says are aimed at punishing China's trade practices and opening more markets around the world for American goods."
Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul has posted the following op-ed...
It doesn't surprise me that Mitt Romney is taking a tougher stance on China than he did in 2008. Any candidate spending time with voters will know just how upset the American people are about lost manufacturing jobs, a rising trade deficit with China, and a growing fear that China is overtaking the United States in tangible and intangible ways.
So, I welcome Mitt Romney's pledge to name China as a currency manipulator on day one if he is elected, along with his very strong positions on barring China from our procurement market until it joins the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), and applying trade law remedies for various Chinese violations. All easier said than done.
The Romney track record deserves scrutiny. He criticized the government loans to General Motors and Chrysler that likely saved millions of American manufacturing jobs in the auto supply chain. He disagreed with President Obama's decision to impose tariffs on impossibly underpriced Chinese tires surging into the U.S. market (which were causing widespread layoffs and plant closures). And, his job creation record in the private sector is a spotty one.
There are also unanswered questions. Where does Mitt Romney stand on preserving America's trade laws, which are constantly under attack? Does Romney welcome competition and investment into America from state-owned enterprises, which would pit our private companies against foreign governments? And, would Romney be willing to promote "reshoring" of manufacturing jobs, thus turning a mere trickle into a real trend?
I have said that President Obama has done the best job of enforcing our nation's trade laws since Ronald Reagan, and the record reflects that. The bold decision he made to rescue the auto industry has helped to turn General Motors and Chrysler into highly competitive companies--and has secured tens of thousands of new auto jobs. The tire tariff decision is one factor that has spurred new investment in the American tire industry. However, I remain profoundly disappointed that the Administration has neither designated China as a currency manipulator nor embraced the legislation now making its way through Congress to deter currency manipulation. I hope the Administration will reconsider its positions on these issues, especially in light of statements that the President made during the 2008 campaign.
The good news for all Americans is that both manufacturing and trade with China are likely to be top election issues for the next year. We need a healthy competition of ideas moving forward.
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