Romney continues tough talk on China
It's election season. The various GOP candidates are laying out their positions, and contrasting themselves with President Obama...
Mitt Romney published an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal that takes President Obama to task for being a "near supplicant to Beijing" and "almost begging it to continue buying American debt."
Romney says the president is "moving in precisely the wrong direction" and sees yesterday's White House meeting with China VP Xi Jinping as "empty pomp and ceremony."
What's commendable in Romney's op-ed is that, despite being published in the free-trade-at-all-costs (and China apologist) Wall Street Journal, it takes a hard line against Beijing, calling for action to "counter abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade, intellectual property, and currency valuation":
While I am prepared to work with Chinese leaders to ensure that our countries both benefit from trade, I will not continue an economic relationship that rewards China's cheating and penalizes American companies and workers.
Unless China changes its ways, on day one of my presidency I will designate it a currency manipulator and take appropriate counteraction. A trade war with China is the last thing I want, but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender.
The strong rhetoric on China's illegal currency undervaluation is commendable. But Romney carries some hypocritical baggage. He did NOT support the section 421 safeguard tariffs imposed in 2009 on a surge of heavily subsidized tires from China. And his business record in private enterprise shows a history of jobs outsourced to China.
It's good, though, that Romney is standing firm on the currency issue.
The "China question" continues, and it will be interesting to see whether the other GOP candidates declare their stance on Beijing's predatory trade practices.
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