October 22, 2012
9:00 – 10:30 PM ET
Boca Raton, Florida
How many times did Mitt Romney refer to China in this week’s debate? Thirteen times. In fact, ” cracking down on China” was one of the principal elements, Romney said, of his entire economic plan. The argument dovetailed with the Romney campaign’s offensive on the issue in late September.
If you only listened to the Republican candidate, you might think the Obama administration were struggling when it came to addressing unfair Chinese trade practices. In reality, however, President Obama keeps winning these fights.
The World Trade Organization barred China on Thursday from imposing duties on certain U.S. steel exports, siding with U.S. President Barack Obama in a dispute with Beijing over a type of steel made in two election battleground states.
The case involved duties imposed by China on “grain-oriented electrical steel,” which is used in the cores of high-efficiency transformers, electric motors and generators. The steel is made by AK Steel Corp of Ohio and ATI Allegheny Ludlum of Pennsylvania.
Although the specialty steel case is tiny compared with other trade disputes with Beijing, the WTO ruling gave Obama a timely win as he defends himself against accusations by his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, that he is soft on China.
And every time this comes up, I’m reminded of this segment from July.
Tough Trade Enforcement Supports Jobs for American Workers
Ambassador Ron Kirk July 30, 2010
Every day, the Obama Administration is working to enforce America’s rights in the international trading system – to keep our workers on a level playing field in global markets, and ultimately create and sustain American jobs.
Over the past year, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has stepped up enforcement of our trade agreements using a range of options from negotiation to taking disputes to the World Trade Organization. These enforcement actions have helped workers in sectors ranging from agriculture to auto parts, from aluminum and steel manufacturing to aerospace construction.
Because President Obama took action to stem the tide of imported Chinese tires, flooding the U.S. market, moms and dads are bringing home paychecks from tire factories in North Carolina and Arkansas. Because USTR successfully challenged Chinese industrial policy, that pushed American auto parts suppliers to move production facilities offshore, men and women in Ohio and Michigan are still working on assembly lines. And because we took the European Union to court and won, the jobs of thousands of U.S. aerospace engineers and electricians in Washington State, Kansas, and South Carolina are more secure. And more American workers, from welders to widget-makers, will have a chance at future jobs on a more level playing field.
We are taking these actions because our trade agreements affirm the rights of American workers and businesses to compete in a system of rules that applies equally to all of our trading partners.
We insist on fair play because we are confident that American workers and businesses can compete – and win – in a global market. As the President has said, “When the playing field is even, nobody can beat us.” And we can’t afford to leave any jobs on the table.
For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/07/30/tough-trade-enforcement-supports-jobs-american-workers
President Obama on the Issues
Mideast – Opposes near-term military strike on Iran except as last resort to stop it from getting nuclear weapons,; seeks international pressure against Syrian government rather then military aid for oppositions.
Approved the raid that killed Osama bin Laden ; set policy that the US would no longer use harsh interrogation techniques; expanded use of drone strikes against terrorist targets abroad and has kept America safe for threats.
China – Opposes citing China as a currency manipulator, which could lead to broad trade sanctions, instead pressing the matter through diplomacy and aggressively burnt unfair-trade cases to the WTO.