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SPECIAL REPORT: CHINA IN THE US ELECTION


Tough on China


Obama and Romney are pledging to crack down on China’s purported economic crimes. Will that really benefit the US?


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Fewer Americans are working today than when President Obama took office. It doesn’t have to be this way


if Obama would stand up to China,” a man’s voice says as the camera pans past broken warehouse windows. With vague language and stark


imagery, the 30-second campaign ad for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conflates America’s economic stagnation with Obama’s failure to “stand


China Economic Review • November 2012


up” to devious Chinese practices. “Seven times Obama could have taken action,” the ad says, referring to the US Treasury Department’s semi-annual review of cur- rency practices. “Seven times he has said no. His policies cost us 2 million jobs.” Obama has fired back with his own


campaign ads charging that private equity firm Bain Capital shipped jobs off to China under Romney’s direction. Both candidates claim that China’s unfair tac-


tics have damaged US businesses, lifted unemployment and helped to boost the US trade gap with China to a record US$295.5 billion in goods in 2011. Listening to this rhetoric, it seems


that the continued fallout from the finan- cial crisis has rung in a new era of eco- nomic conflict. China’s currency contin- ues to be a subject of debate. Te Obama Administration has brought more major trade actions against China in the WTO


CREDIT: James B Currie


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