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
In last night’s Republican debate, Mitt Romney made several statements backing up his strong stance on China’s currency manipulation:
“I'm afraid that people who've looked at this in the past have been played like a fiddle by the Chinese. And the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank, taking our currency and taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future. And I'm not willing to let that happen.
I'm in this race to try and get America to make sure we're strong again, we're creating jobs, we're the best place in the world to be middle class again. And for that to happen, we've got to call cheating for what it is.”
”You think they want to have a trade war? I mean, this is -- this is a time when we're being hollowed out by China that is artificially holding down their prices, as you just said a moment ago. And that's having a massive impact on jobs here. It is the wrong course for us, when people have pursued unfair trade practices.”
“And you can't -- you can't -- you know, people say, well, we might have a trade war with China. Well, now, think about that. We buy this much stuff from China; they buy that much stuff from us. You think they want to have a trade war? I mean, this is -- this is a time when we're being hollowed out by China that is artificially holding down their prices, as you just said a moment ago. And that's having a massive impact on jobs here. It is the wrong course for us, when people have pursued unfair trade practices. You have to have a president that will take action.
And on day one -- I've indicated, day one -- I will issue an executive order identifying China as a currency manipulator. We'll bring an action against them in front of the WTO for manipulating their currency, and we will go after them. If you're not willing to stand up to China, you'll get run over by China. And that's what's happened for 20 years.”
Mitt Romney continued his attacks of the Obama administration’s failure to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices. As The Hill reports:
“It’s time to let a conservative businessman take the reins of government to make sure America, not China is the economic powerhouse of the world,” Romney said.
“If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I’m not your president. You have that president today.”
He also accused the president of being part of the “growing chorus that believes America’s day has past.” He rejected the notion of a world with a number of balanced powers, arguing the U.S. belongs at the head of the pack.
“This century must be an America century. In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world,” Romney said.
Romney has been outspoken in the past on China policy, and remains at the forefront of the GOP field in criticizing China’s currency manipulation and the lackluster response it has garnered from the Administration.
Mitt Romney made headlines when he announced that one of his first acts as President would be to label China a Currency Manipulator. Although the topic went nearly unmentioned in last week’s debate, this is the toughest position on China from any of the Presidential candidates (and that includes President Obama). The New Republic’s William Galtson looks deeper into the issue and asks if this is just an election year ploy, as it was with Bill Clinton in 1992. His last paragraph lays out the terms in stark detail:
Today, the Chinese and American economies are far more deeply intertwined than they were two decades ago, and the potential costs of disrupting the relationship have risen accordingly. If Romney becomes president, we’ll find out whether the business community has really changed its mind about China, and how much heat he’ll be willing to endure if they haven’t. We’ll learn, as well, whether the Chinese government will respond with compromise or confrontation. And as we do, the future of the world economy will be at stake.
When it came to job creation, Governor Romney referenced his private sector experience in last night’s CNN/Tea Party debate:
I spent my life in the private sector. I've competed with companies around the world. I've learned something about how it is that economies grow. It's not just simple wave a wand and everything gets better. No, you have to make some structural changes. The world has changed.
What's happened over the last 20, 30 years is we've gone from a pay phone world to a smartphone world and President Obama keeps jamming quarters into the pay phone thinking things are going to get better. It's not connected, Mr. President.
And if we're going to get this economy going, we've got seven, one, make our tax code competitive with the world. Two, get regulations to work to encourage enterprise. Three, to make sure we have trade policies that work for us not just for the other guys. Four is to have energy security in this country by developing our energy resources. Five so execute the rule of law, which is to stop the Boeing decision that the NLRB put in place. Six is to make sure that we have institutions that create fantastic human capital. And finally number seven is to balance the budget. People won't invest here unless they have confidence here. And that's what I'll do.
Mitt Romney released his Jobs Plan (“Believe in America”) this week, coming on the heels of rival Jon Huntsman’s release. It’s a wide-ranging document, covering which regulations to roll back, overhauling the corporate tax structure, expanding free trade agreements, and - most importantly – confronting China’s unfair trade.
Romney supports naming China a currency manipulator, and promises to do so on his first day in office. He pledges to consider sanctions and tariffs, use the U.S. Trade Representative to pursue cases, and support stronger inspections for imports.
He’s the first official candidate to call out China’s currency cheating, and we hope that others follow his lead. If you want to create American jobs, force China to play fair.
Read the full plan here.
Eight candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination faced off against each other last night at the Ronald Reagan Library in California. During the 1-hour, 45-minute debate, the candidates all spoke about the need to create jobs and attacked President Obama for failing to do more on that front.
However, not a single candidate made mention of manufacturing jobs. In fact, the debate transcript reveals that there was not a single mention of the word “manufacturing.” The closest any of the candidates got to this topic was when Jon Huntsman was asked if he agreed with Mitt Romney’s plan to label China a currency manipulator. His weak response, which we’ve included below, was not what we should expect from the candidate who wants to be seen as the intellectual alternative:
Q: Governor Huntsman, as you know, Governor Romney's new economic plan calls for the U.S. government to officially label China a currency manipulator, But "The Wall Street Journal" editorial page says such a move would cause a trade war, perhaps.
You're a former ambassador to China. You have served four U.S. presidents. In your view, what does Governor Romney not get about China?
HUNTSMAN: He doesn't get the part that what will fix the U.S- China relationship, realistically, is fixing our core right here at home, because our core is weak, and it is broken, and we have no leverage at the negotiating table.
And I'd have to say, Mitt, now is not the time in a recession to enter a trade war. Ronald Reagan flew this plane. I was in China during the trip in 1984. He went on TV, he spoke to the Chinese people -- I'd love to do that too, in Chinese itself -- and he talked in optimistic, glowing terms.
And it reminds me about this, Ryan, we are the most blue sky, optimistic people on earth. We're going to find solutions, and I have an offer for the two great governors over here.
And I hate to rain on the parade of the Lone Star governor, but as governor of Utah, we were the number one job creator in this country during my years of service. That was 5.9 percent when you were creating jobs at 4.9 percent.
And to my good friend, Mitt, 47 just ain't going to cut it, my friend, not when you can be first. We've got to remember, that to beat President Obama, we have to have somebody who's been in the private sector, understands the fragility of the free market system, has been a successful governor as it relates to job creation, and knows something about this world.
I've lived overseas four times, I've been an ambassador to my country three times, I think I understand that.
The American people are angry at Washington for not doing enough to create jobs. Anybody who wants to run the country needs to listen to what the people want: jobs, jobs, jobs.
Read the transcript here.
Jon Huntsman came out swinging on Mitt Romney’s business ties with China. As Romney has been critical of President Obama’s weak stance on China, it’s curious that his former company, Bain Capital (an investment firm, not a manufacturer) has taken a leading role in helping Chinese firms buy out American technology companies. Of course, Romney left Bain in 1999, but the company still has a long record of business with state-owned enterprises in China.
Mitt Romney attacked President Obama for refusing to stand up to China. In his 2008 campaign, Obama promised to “take China to the mat” over unfair trade practices. However, he has so far failed to live up to this promise. At a time when most Americans care about jobs, there are several steps that the President could take with China to promote and support American jobs.
Unfortunately, Romney seems to be focusing on intellectual property theft instead of the bigger issues of currency manipulation and unfair trade practices.
Mitt Romney continues to hammer the President on manufacturing jobs, with a spokesperson claiming that “"As president, Mitt Romney will make job creation his top priority, including the creation of jobs in manufacturing." This comes on the heels of Romney calling the President “out of touch” for calling on young Americans to make manufacturing a career.
However, this does not square with Romney’s record as a factory-closing outsourcer. As CEO of Bain Capital, he presided over many factory closings, which raised corporate profits at the expense of American jobs. It’s good to hear him singing this new tune, but we have to keep in mind whether he will change or if this is just another campaign ploy.