Mitt Romney REALLY needs to win Ohio and he knows it. He’s currently behind big time with 18% of Ohio voters having already voted early and 66% of those early voters having voted for President Obama (source). To win Ohio – Romney needs to appear to support American manufacturing … so now he is attacking President Obama for failing to list China as a currency manipulator. What he won’t say is that America’s manufacturing industry is growing and China’s manufacturing industry is actually declining presently (source). In fact – a recent study showed that America could add 5 million manufacturing jobs by 2020 given the current fundamentals (source).
But Romney has a real problem here … he has an actual record on this stuff.
#1 – He has made a LOT of money from American jobs being shipped over to China. You can hear him talking about Chinese sweatshops his company was looking to invest in or already invested in HERE. Mitt Romney invested in businesses that outsourced to China even pre-1999. You can find that analysis HERE. Not only did he invest in businesses that SPECIALIZED in outsourcing jobs to China – you can read about that HERE.
#2 – Obama already has several “wins” against China at the World Trade Organization and has raised tariffs to protect American industry from cheap Chinese products with solar panels (source) and tires (source). Additionally – the Obama administration has pursued cases against China at the WTO for rare earths, steel, chickens, wind turbines, raw materials, and electronic payments. The Obama administration has won 12 of 14 cases at the WTO against China with 2 cases pending still.
#3 – Romney is on record of advocating AGAINST taking action against China. He believes in free trade and reduced regulations of course … but he is on record in his book and on video of calling tariffs against China PROTECTIONISM. You can see everything you need to about that HERE. He has warned against it historically and only when he needs to win votes has he decided to say whatever needs to be said in order to win a state he desperately needs to win … even if he doesn’t mean it.
Romney said today:
“It’s time for us to stand up to China for their cheating. It’s got to stop. We’ve got to get those jobs back and make trade to be fair.”
But on page 119 of his book – “No apologies” Romney said Obama’s decision in 2009 to put tariffs on Chinese tires to protect the American tire industry from illegal trade practices by the Chinese was bad. China went after America at the WTO and lost. Romney wrote:
“President Obama’s action to defend American tire companies from foreign competition may make good politics by repaying unions for their support of his campaign, but it is decidedly bad for the nation and our workers. Protectionism stifles productivity.”
Seems pretty clear … he felt taking on China was the wrong decision; he felt Obama was being too tough on China and he wants us to think “it’s bad for the nation and our workers” just like he wrote “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” which Obama chose not to do and now the auto industry is back thanks to some very difficult decisions by the Obama administration.
And as we’ve shared HERE – Romney has a whole history of statements:
“I went to a factory of 5,000 workers making bread makers and so forth working, working, working, as hard as they could, at rates of roughly 50 cents an hour. They cared about their jobs; they wouldn’t even look up as we walked by.”
“Bottom line: They are competing to win. Second, it is important for us as a nation to reach out to China and to chart out a course that is consistent with a free economy and a free society.”
“China doesn’t want to bury us. They want to see us succeed and thrive so we can buy more Chinese products. And they’re a competitor economically … more power to them.” At no time does he say we need to change their status to “currency manipulator”.
“So putting barriers up, trying to put walls up, in my opinion is a defeating strategy and will yield ultimate decline and collapse. The alternative strategy, by the way, as you know is, to say, OK, those guys have figured out a way to make tires in a more productive way than we have, and we’re going to have to find another way to compete.”
But now that Romney is running for President this time around – he wants President Obama to get tough on China? Sure he does. Obama responded to this line of attack by Romney a couple of weeks ago. He said:
”So, you know, when you hear this new-found outrage — when you see these ads he’s running promising to get tough on China — it feels a lot like that fox saying, ‘you know, we need more secure chicken coops’ … It’s just not credible.”
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