Mitt Romney (R)
Mitt Romney served as the Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney from 2003 to 2007 before leading a failed bid for the presidency in 2008. After earning and undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University, Romney attended Harvard University where he earned his joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration. Romney worked in management consulting at Bain & Company, eventually serving as its CEO. He also co-founded the company’s spin-off investment firm Bain Capital which became highly profitable. Romney failed to defeat incumbent Senator Ted Kennedy for his seat in a 1994 election.
Mitt Romney Pledges to name China a currency manipulator
Romney: Obama Isn't Working, China Stealing Copyrights
The following originally appeared on our blog, ManufactureThis:
An analysis of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) from Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Media Director Steven Capozzola...
I've talked with many domestic U.S. manufacturers over the past decade or so-- mostly small and mid-sized manufacturers (the backbone of America's industrial base).
One particular manufacturer whom I knew well was the president of a family-owned company that produced printed circuit boards. His firm had been around since the dawn of the computer age, manufacturing circuit boards for both commercial and military applications.
He used to tell me all the time that his workers and his factory were incredibly efficient and productive. He would say, "I can compete with anybody in the world...But what's killing me is China's currency peg."
What he meant was that, because China deliberately undervalues its currency (in violation of world trade law), its manufacturers can export goods at an artificially reduced price. Essentially, my friend's firm was competing against the full resources of the government of China.
Eventually, my friend had to close his factory. He was one of the last printed circuit board manufacturers left in the U.S. Losing his factory meant that the U.S. was now more reliant than ever on obtaining printed circuit boards from China.
I think back to my conversations with him now, after having attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC this week.
Specifically, I'm thinking of Newt Gingrich's speech yesterday. In the midst of an address about "changing the trajectory" of the "Republican establishment," Gingrich started to lay out his vision for transforming the United States. After a quick aside about the pitfalls of unemployment insurance ("Never again shall we pay somebody 99 weeks for doing nothing"), the former Speaker of the House turned to manufacturing.
Here was his solution for manufacturing:
"Now if we're serious about manufacturing, we have to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, which is a job killing agency."
When I heard that, I thought back to my friend who manufactured printed circuit boards. He happens to be a Republican, and a retired Marine officer. I'd never heard him complain about the EPA. But I did recall his frequent frustration about China. He said he believed in free trade, and what China was doing was protectionist. It was not acceptable, and Congress needed to act.
This is why I find Gingrich's assertion disheartening. What he should be saying is: "If we want to get serious about manufacturing, let's start standing up to China when they violate our trade agreements. When they illegally dump product, when they illegally subsidize their steel and glass and paper exports with tens of billions of dollars, when they illegally undervalue their currency, let's enforce the laws we have on the books and say NO MORE. Rules are rules. Let's preserve the free market."
To be fair, Gingrich did mention China once, at the top of his speech:
"This is not about being revenue neutral, this is about maximizing economic growth to put Americans back to work and to create the most dynamic economy on the planet and to rebuild our manufacturing base, so we can pull away from China and we become once again the dominant country on the planet."
Along those lines, Gingrich did float one idea that could be helpful to manufacturers, a suggestion about revising U.S. tax law:
"You go to 100 percent expensing, so all new equipment at every level, farmer factory, doctor, business, all of that gets written off in one year. The goal is to make the American system the most modern, most productive in the world."
Revisions to tax policy are one of a number of important steps that the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has outlined in a plan to save U.S. manufacturing.
The only other speech I saw was that of Mitt Romney. Interestingly, Romney has been talking tough on the campaign trail when it comes to China, threatening to designate them as a "currency manipulator" on day one of his presidency. However, he only made two passing mentions of China:
"I will approach every spending decision by asking a few important questions: Can we afford it? And, if not, is it worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?... I will cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which supports China’s barbaric One Child Policy."
Romney never mentioned manufacturing in his speech, an unfortunate omission. And while it's timely to cite the issue of U.S. indebtedness to China, it's ironic that Beijing is mentioned so prominently. In actual fact, China only owns about 8% of publicly held U.S. debt, which means Beijing possesses far less leverage than is commonly believed.
All in all, it would have been helpful to hear both Gingrich and Romney focus more on manufacturing's outsized contributions to the U.S. economy, and why (for example) they would push for Buy America policy and much-needed infrastructure investment after taking office as president.
There's much this country urgently needs to do, and rebuilding U.S. manufacturing should be at the top of the list.
Although you might not know it from watching the GOP debates, the economy is the number one issue for voters in 2012. A pair of articles today looks at how this issue is playing across the country.
Bloomberg analyzes the recovery in the Midwest, and how that will affect President Obama’s chances there:
The turnaround may shape this year’s race for the White House as President Barack Obama seeks to reverse Republican gains in the Midwest. The title of his State of the Union address, “An America Built to Last,” evoked a theme of manufacturing’s revival meant to resonate on the campaign trail.
The economies of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- all states Obama won in 2008 -- have improved faster than that of the U.S. since the recession’s depth in April 2009, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. Michigan is expected to lead all 50 states during the next six months, the Fed data show.
“We’re going back to a region we abandoned a long time ago to get energy again from rocks that were already drilled a thousand times,” said Clay Williams, chief financial officer for Houston-based National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV), which started in Oil City, Pennsylvania, in 1862. “We’re going back to our roots.”
Meanwhile, USA Today wants to know if the Auto Rescue will be an asset or liability for Obama and Romney:
The president's campaign views the auto storyline as a potent argument against Romney — who, even though he is the son of a Detroit auto executive, opposed the bailout. As the industry was collapsing in the fall of 2008, the former Massachusetts governor predicted in a New York Times op-ed that if the companies received a federal bailout, "you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." Romney said the companies should have undergone a "managed bankruptcy" that would have avoided a government bailout.
Three years later, Obama is trying to turn the tough decision into a political advantage in Ohio and Michigan, which Obama carried in 2008 and where unemployment has fallen of late. During last week's State of the Union address, Obama said the auto industry had hired tens of thousands of workers, and he predicted the Detroit turnaround could take root elsewhere.
In last night’s GOP Debate, the four remaining candidates faced off in South Carolina. Here’s what they had to say about manufacturing:
We need a party that just doesn't talk about high finance and -- and cutting corporate taxes or cutting the top tax rates. We need to talk about how we're going to put men and women in this country who built this country back to work in this country in the manufacturing sector of our economy.
I was in Boeing today and I was up in BMW yesterday. South Carolina can compete with anybody in this world in manufacturing. We just need to give them the opportunity to compete. And we are 20 percent more costly than our top nine trading partners, and that's excluding labor costs. That's why I say we need to cut the corporate tax in manufacturing down to zero. We need to give manufacturers a leg up so they can compete for the jobs, half of which -- we went from 21 percent of this country in manufacturing down to 9 [percent] and we left the dreams of working men and women on the sideline. We need to show that we're the party, we're the movement that's going to get those Reagan Democrats, those conservative Democrats all throughout the states that we need to win to win this election to sign up with us, and we'll put them back to work.
I'm the only person on this stage that will do something about it. I've got a specific plan in place that I've put out there, called the Made In the USA plan, for exactly these kinds of companies, that have great technology and then go somewhere else to make them because America is uncompetitive.
And that's why we have to cut the corporate tax for all corporations who manufacture and process in this country.
People have said, well, why are you doing it for corporations and only cutting it in half -- which I do -- to 17 1/2 percent for the rest? It's because the local pharmacy's not going to move to China. They're not going to -- they -- we -- the jobs that we're losing are jobs that we have to compete with other countries, and those are manufacturing jobs. The reason they're going there is not because our -- our -- our workers or our management in this country are not productive. We have great productivity gain. It's amazing the -- the transformation that has been made in the last decade or two about our manufacturing process here. It is simply government getting in the way.
We have to open up markets, and we have to crack down on China when they cheat.
As Mitt Romney pulls to the head of the GOP pack, it looks increasingly likely that he will be the nominee to take on President Obama. This sets up a race between two rather similar candidates. As Richard Stevenson at the New York Times points out:
Both are Harvard-educated millionaires. Both have been criticized as elitist and technocratic. Both have struggled to handle the populist anger coursing through politics.
In an election climate largely defined by the anxieties of the middle class, working people are now more likely than not to face a choice in November between two candidates who sometimes seem to have trouble relating to them. One is President Obama, who once characterized them as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion.” The other is Mitt Romney, currently defending himself against allegations from within his own party that he is a “vulture” capitalist and who in the last week has suggested that he takes pleasure in firing those who fail to provide good service and that politics might best be practiced by those who have paid off their mortgages.
Stevenson also notes that while Romney’s rhetoric on China is drawing him some support, both candidates are struggling to connect with the masses of disaffected blue-collar workers who feel they have been left behind by the last three decades:
Mr. Romney’s emphasis on getting tough with China is winning him attention from workers, and former workers, in industries turned upside down by global competition.
But they face substantial challenges based on the perception that they are out of touch with the values and needs of the kinds of voters who have been most affected by economic and cultural upheaval.
For most of the past decade, blue-collar, white voters have been overwhelmingly in the Republican column. Mr. Obama did much better among them in 2008 than the previous two Democratic presidential candidates had done. But in the 2010 midterm elections, they flocked back to the Republicans.
In last night’s GOP debate, the candidates traded many jabs, but not much was said on the subject of manufacturing. Here’s what we culled from the transcript:
What we do is cut corporate taxes for everybody. We cut it from 35 percent to 17.5 percent, make it a — basically a net profits tax. And then we take the area of the economy that’s under competition from overseas for our jobs. The rest of the economy is not being shipped off like the mills here in South Carolina were to other countries around the world because of foreign competition.
Why? The foreign competition that we are dealing with right now is much cheaper to do business, excluding labor costs than we are, about 20 percent more, and that 20 percent differential is government. It’s government regulation and it’s also government taxation.
So part of what we are trying to do is to have a government system that can compete with who our competitor is. The competitor at the local drugstore is not China. The competitor is other people.
And as long as that is level and everybody’s paying, the big corporations and the little ones — and that’s why we have a flat 17 1/2 percent — so we keep the little guys paying the same rate as the big guys who have — right now, with this very complex code, a lot of folks in there trying to reduce rates by using the tax code to shrink their tax liability.
So we’ve leveled the playing field for the guys here in this country and we’ve created a competitive environment for the manufacturer.
First — first of all, I think — I think Governor Perry makes a — a very good point about — about Georgetown [SC]. For those that don’t know, it was a steel mill and — and my firm invested in that steel mill and another one in Kansas City, tried to make them successful. Invested there for seven or eight years. And ultimately what happened from abroad, dumping steel into this country lead to some 40 different steel mills being closed.
And — and that was one of those. I understand what happens when China cheats, or when others cheat and dump products into this country. That’s one of the reasons I’m running is to make sure we crack down on cheaters. By the way, we also started a new steel mill with new technology in Indiana. That one’s growing and thriving. I — I think that experience is what America needs in a president. Secondly I — I agree with the governor with regards to regulations. Regulations are choking off this economy.
I will do everything in my power to put a halt to all the Obama era regulations, review those that kill jobs and get rid of those so we can get the private sector working again.
Mitt Romney’s record as a “job creator” has been coming under intense scrutiny recently. The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker digs into Romney’s record and reaches the following conclusion:
Romney certainly has a good story to tell about knowing how to manage a business, spotting opportunities and understanding high finance. But if he is to continue to make claims about job creation, the Romney campaign needs to provide a real accounting of how many jobs were gained or lost through Bain Capital investments while the firm managed these companies — and while Romney was chief executive. Any jobs counted after either of those data points simply do not pass the laugh test.
On Saturday, the GOP candidates faced off in the 14th debate of the primary season. Here’s what they had to say about Manufacturing
I come from southwestern Pennsylvania, the heart of the steel country, the heart of manufacturing. And it’s been devastated because we are uncompetitive. Thirty years ago we were devastated because business and labor didn’t understand global competitiveness and they made a lot of mistakes. They did -- they weren’t prepared for it and we lost a lot of jobs.
That’s not what’s happening now. Our productivity gains, our labor force, their doing their job, they’re being competitive. But they’re running into a stiff headwind called government. And it’s government taxation, 35 percent corporate tax which is high -- the highest in the world. It’s a tax that doesn’t easily offset when we try to export, which makes it even more difficult...
We are once again on the cusp of a manufacturing renaissance in this country, if we do it right. China is going down in terms of GDP growth from 8 percent, 9 percent, 10 percent to 4 percent or 5 percent, 6 percent. And as they go down in growth, unemployment goes up.
We have an opportunity to win back that manufacturing investment, if we are smart enough, with the right kind of leadership to fix our taxes. No one up here is calling for the complete elimination of all the loopholes and the deductions, where the Wall Street Journal came out and endorsed my tax plan. That’s what needs to be done, not tinkering around the edges.
On China, however, there were more varied statements:
Listen, we have the most important relationship of the 21st Century with China. We’ve got to make it work. Of course we have challenges with them. We’ve had challenges for 40 years. It’s nonsense to think you can slap a tariff on China the first day that you’re in office, as Governor Romney would like to do.
My own view on the relationship with China is this, which is that China is stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our know-how, our brand names. They’re hacking into our computers, stealing information from not only corporate computers but from government computers. And they’re manipulating their currency.
And for those who don’t understand the impact of that, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. And that is, if you hold down the value of your currency artificially, you make your products artificially low-priced and kill American jobs. That has happened here in this country.
And if I’m president of the United States, I’m not going to continue to talk about how important China is and how we have to get along. And I believe those things. They’re very important. And we do have to get along. But I’m also going to tell the Chinese it’s time to stop. You have to play by the rules. I will not let you kill American jobs any longer.
You cannot compete with China in the long run if you have an inferior infrastructure. You’ve got to move to a 21st-century model. That means you’ve got to be -- you’ve got to be technologically smart, and you have to make investments.
With Rick Santorum's recent surge to the head of the GOP pack, many pundits are trying to find out what fueled his rise. Over at The Nation, John Nichols seems to be on to something:
To a far greater extent than Romney, the venture capitalist who made his money dismantling American factories and offshoring jobs, and to a significantly greater extent than the wonkish Newt Gingrich and the ideologically rigid Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, Santorum appealed to blue-collar workers and to Iowans who would like to be blue-collar workers. And he’ll do more of that in New Hampshire.
Eschewing predictable “let-the-market-decide” rhetoric about free markets and free trade, Santorum has made proposals for the renewal of American manufacturing an important part of his Iowa agenda. That is not an approach that endears the unexpected contender to the hedge-fund managers and Wall Street speculators who provide so much of the funding not just for Republican candidates but for conservative groups such as the Club for Growth.
But Santorum bet on the appeal of industrial renewal message. And there is good evidence to suggest that it was a smart bet. Santorum won communities such as Newton, a United Auto Workers town that was hit hard by the shuttering of its sprawling Maytag plant, and Ottumwa, a packinghouse town where the United Food and Commercial Workers union has a rich history. These are both communities President Obama has visited since his 2008 election, and they are communities where Obama will do well in 2012. But Santorum made inroads where Romney never will. In Ottumwa-based Wapello County, for instance, while Santorum finished first, Romney ran fifth—behind not just Santorum but Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. In the Newton area, it was Santorum, then Paul and then Romney.
Mitt Romney, we all know, is one of the founders of private equity firm Bain Capital. Romney likes to tout this experience and to paint himself as a private sector job creator who can help get the economy moving again. The Associated Press recently did some in-depth research into the financial and regulatory filing from Bain, and their conclusions show an ominous future for American manufacturing under a Romney administration.
Some of the findings:
Holson Burnes [a Bain-owned company] closed the plant and sold the property [in South Carolina] in July 1992 for $2.8 million, county records show. The company paid off its mortgage and transferred a small number of remaining jobs to New Hampshire.
The cost-cutting worked, just as the company prepared its initial public offering. By 1993, Holson Burnes brought in more than $3 million in after-tax profit, a stark turnaround from its $12.4 million loss the year before.
The cost-cutting continued at Holson Burnes. By 1992, the company manufactured nearly 75 percent of its photo frames overseas, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of the company’s clock-making divisions also shipped work overseas from a Rhode Island plant.
Under Romney, Bain was certainly able to turn around struggling companies and make them profitable. Of course, it’s easy to become profitable when you send the jobs overseas to workers that make thousands of times less than American ones.
Read the full article here.
Last week was the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses. Here’s what they had to say on manufacturing and jobs:
Yes, what I proposed in the “Made in the USA” plan is that if money has been made overseas, that it can come back at 5.5 percent rate, which is what we did back in 2004, and it did cause a lot of money to come back. But I put a special rate, zero, if they bring it back and invest it in plant and equipment in America.
We need to rebuild the manufacturing base of this country. When I traveled around to all of these counties in Iowa, I went to a lot of small towns, like Sidney and Hamburg down in Fremont County, and I was in — the other day in Newton, where they’ve lost jobs to overseas. Why? Because we’re not competitive.
We need to have our capital be competitive and — and come here free so they can invest it. We need to cut the corporate tax on manufacturers to zero. Why? Because there’s a 20 percent cost differential between America and our nine top trading partners. And we — and that’s excluding labor costs.
What do I happen to think will be the future? I think manufacturing is going to come back. I think manufacturing, for some of the reasons Rick just indicated, it’s going to come back to the U.S. I also think, of course, that high-tech is going to be an extraordinarily source — extraordinary source of growth for a long time in this country.
As the GOP candidates hit the airwaves, the Washington Post has noticed a common theme in some of the ads: Sparks. Several of these ads focus on the themes of jobs, specifically manufacturing jobs. Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney all feature factory floors, with showers of sparks shooting across the screen.
We hope that these candidates go beyond the visuals and present clear, detailed plans to support domestic manufacturing jobs.
This past Saturday, six of the GOP presidential candiates gathered for a debate in Des Moines, Iowa. While there were some sharp words exchanged, the debate began on a strong note, with questions about jobs and the economy. Here’s what the candidates had to say:
Mitt Romney (In answer to the question “What is your distinguishing idea, distinguishing, from all of the others on this stage, about how to create jobs in this create, how to bring jobs back from overseas.”):
Number three, to have trade policies that make sense for America, not just for the people with whom we trade.
This president has not done that. And China, that's been cheating, has to be cracked down on.
Well, I was just down in Fremont County, which is down in the far southwest corner of the state, and they just lost about, a couple hundred jobs at a ConAgra plant down there. And Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds understand, that's why they asked us to have a forum here in Pella a few weeks ago on manufacturing.
They understand that the heartland of America is suffering because the manufacturing economy of this country continues to go down. We used to have 21% of people employed in this country in manufacturing, it's now nine. And it hurts disproportionately small town and rural America. So what I learned from traveling around Iowa is we had to get a plan together that'll revitalized manufacturing.
So I took the corporate tax, not the 12%. I zeroed it out for all manufacturers. We want manufacture, we want "Made in the U.S.A." to be the moniker under my administration.
The star of the evening may have been moderator Diane Sawyer, who attempted to steer the discussion toward jobs, correctly citing it as the number one issue on the minds of the voters. She even noted after the first round of questioning that Mitt Romney was the only candidate who adequately addressed the issue:
I just wanna point out, I think that Governor Romney is the only one who actually gave a four-year, first-term number, which was again, 11.5 million jobs. Wondered if anyone else wanted to come in with a four-year, first-term promise for the American people.
It seems like the China currency issue is getting more and more important in the GOP race for the presidency. As Politico reports, both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have taken the lead on this issue; and President Obama recently said that China must “play be the rules of the road.”
However, it is important to remember that in three years President Obama has missed every possible opportunity to name China a currency manipulator. As we have noted previously, it can be hard to translate campaign rhetoric into governing reality.
Mitt Romney has been featured on Job Search and our blog in the past for his strong stance against China’s currency manipulation. However, as NPR notes, we heard similar rhetoric from then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008. As we all know, those promises were followed by three years of complete and total inaction. China has not been named a currency manipulator, and they continue to refuse to let the yuan float.
Here’s what Romney has said about China:
We can't just sit back and let China run all over us. People say, “Well, you'll start a trade war.” There's one going on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs. And we're going to stand up to China.
Compared to what Obama said during the 2008 campaign:
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,”
Mitt Romney has certainly been the most forceful of the GOP contenders to call out China for their currency cheating. In a speech this past weekend, Romney again laid into China. As The Hill reports:
"People say, 'well you’ll start starting a trade war.' There’s one going on right now, folks," he said. "They’re stealing our jobs and we’re going to stand up to China."
Read more here.
In last night’s CNBC Debate, Your Money, Your Vote, the GOP candidates faced off on economic and fiscal issues. What did they have to say about manufacturing issues?
The reason I put forth this manufacturing plan is not just so we can say "Made Here in America," that we can create opportunities for everyone in America, including those that don't have that college skill set, people who built this country, like my grandfather, who was a coal miner. So -- so that is a very important part that Republicans, unfortunately, are not talking about.
We need to talk about income mobility. We need to talk about people at the bottom of the -- of the income scale being able to get necessary skills and rise so they can support themselves and a family. And that's what manufacturing does, and that's why I'm laser-beam focused on it.
I've been in business all my life, 25 years. I consulted to businesses around the world. I've been in business where we competed around the world. I understand free trade; I like free trade. I know that America can compete with anyone in the world. Newt is right about -- about our capacity to manufacture and compete heads-on versus the Chinese.
But I've also seen predatory pricing. I've seen people price their goods at an artificial level for an extended period of time, such that they can drive other people out of business. And then when the other people are out of business, they can raise their prices. That's what China's doing, by holding down the value of their currency.
Let the currencies float. If the U.S. currency, for instance, is being inflated, let it float. Let us float. Let us have a market mechanism determine the value of our respective currencies, as opposed to the Chinese government continuing to put an advantage to their -- their producers. This -- this is no longer a time for us just to sit back and say we're going to let them steal our jobs.
Well, the Chinese have been bad actors. Recently we found out that they dumped counterfeit computer chips here in the United States. We're using some of those counterfeit computer chips in the Pentagon in some of our weapons systems. This has national security implications.
... first of all, you've got to decide, how are we going to be more competitive and how are we going to be the lowest cost? And there's a new Boston consultant (ph) that says, by 2015, South Carolina and Alabama will be cheaper than the Chinese coastal provinces to manufacturing.
Second, in terms of dealing with China strategically, I think we're going to have to find ways to dramatically raise the pain level for the Chinese cheating, both in the hacking side, but also on the stealing and intellectual property side. And I don't think anybody today has a particularly good strategy for doing that.
The Des Moines Register asked the presidential candidates “What specifically would you advocate as president, if anything, to encourage growth of manufacturing jobs?” Below is Mitt Romney’s response:
“First, taxes. I will cut the corporate tax rate to make America a more attractive place for manufacturers to invest. Second, regulation. I will reduce the regulatory burden on American companies, which falls disproportionately on manufacturers. Third, trade. I will open new markets for our goods around the world by completing free trade agreements. Fourth, energy. I will move aggressively to develop our natural resources and domestic energy supply. Fifth, labor. I will reform our labor laws to protect the principles of free enterprise, free choice and free speech. Sixth, human capital. I will reform our retraining programs to facilitate on-the-job training provided by real employers. Seventh, fiscal policy. I will rein in the out-of-control government spending that threatens our long-term prosperity and discourages investment in our economy. This includes the repeal of Obamacare.”
Last night’s Republican debate featured some sharp discussion between the candidates, each fighting to differentiate themselves from the other contenders on stage. Unfortunately, very little of the discussion was focused on job creation, and even less touched upon manufacturing jobs.
The only two candidates to mention manufacturing jobs at all were Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.
But there are also a lot of good jobs we need in manufacturing, and high-tech jobs, and good service jobs, technology of all kinds. America produces an economy that's very, very broad. And that's why our policy to get America the most attractive place in the world for investment and -- and job growth encompasses more than just energy.
…that's why I focus all of the real big changes in the tax code at manufacturing. I cut the corporate rate for manufacturing to zero, repeal all regulations affecting manufacturers that cost over $100 million and replace them with something that's friendlier, they can work with. We repatriate $1.2 trillion that manufacturers made overseas and allow them to bring it back here, if they invest in plants and equipment. They can do it without having to pay any -- any excise tax.
It’s sad, really, that the clips from this debate already getting the most play on cable news are of the candidates sniping at each other, rather than discussing the issues that matter to most Americans.
Read the transcript here.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Mitt Romney lays out his plan to hold China accountable for their illegal currency practices. Romney has been the leading voice in the GOP field for getting tough with China, and his tactic seems to be catching on.
In short, if one is genuinely committed to free trade, one must also be genuinely committed to ending abuses of its principles.
If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, I will work to fundamentally alter our economic relationship with China. As I describe in my economic plan, I will begin on Day One by designating China as the currency manipulator it is.