Obama and Romney attack China over trade policies in defense of U.S. manufacturing

September 17, 2012

The Obama administration and the GOP are beginning to take some shots at China in regard to the nation's stance on and activities related to the production of goods, as President Obama and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney look to defend the U.S. manufacturing sector against unfair practices.

The Obama administration struck out in the form of the president filing a trade complaint against China, as he accused the Asian nation of illegally subsidising exports of cars and the associated parts, according to BBC News.

"The key principle at stake is that China must play by the rules of the global trading system," a White House official told the news outlet.

Obama is then scheduled to discuss the World Trade Organization (WTO) action against China during a campaign stop in Ohio, and his speech is expected to be focused on the idea of bringing jobs home.

"Today, my administration is launching new action against China – this one against illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto-parts manufacturing jobs overseas," the president is expected to say, according to released excerpts of his upcoming speech. "Those subsidies directly harm working men and women on the assembly line in Ohio and Michigan and across the Midwest. It's not right; it's against the rules; and we will not let it stand."

While the Obama camp took a firm stance in defense of American industry, the Romney contingent was not far behind in offering its support of U.S. manufacturing.

According to The Washington Post, Mitt Romney supported a new advertisement from his camp that outlined how the Chinese are "cheating" and how the current president has not done enough to stop the Asian country from damaging U.S. manufacturing.

"Under Obama, we’ve lost over half a million manufacturing jobs," the voiceover says in the advertisement. "And for the first time, China is beating us. Seven times, Obama could have stopped China’s cheating; seven times, he refused."

Not only is Romney saying that he wants to bolster the sector and adopt a new manufacturing strategy, but he also wants to take action against the Chinese government.

Regardless of one's political ties, the pressure on both parties to take action is likely to be a boon for U.S. manufacturing firms and workers.