News / Asia

Obama Challenges China Auto Subsidies

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Schiller Park, Sept. 17, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.
President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Schiller Park, Sept. 17, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.
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Kent Klein
— The Obama administration is complaining to the World Trade Organization, or WTO, that China is illegally subsidizing exports from its automobile and auto-parts industries.  President Barack Obama made the announcement on Monday at a campaign rally in the swing state of Ohio, whose economy relies heavily on auto manufacturing.

“Today, my administration is launching a new action against China, this one against illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto parts manufacturing jobs overseas," said President Obama. "These are subsidies that directly harm working men and women on the assembly lines in Ohio and Michigan and across the Midwest.”

The U.S. Trade Representative has filed a complaint with the WTO, charging that China has given “extensive subsidies” to Chinese companies that produce autos and parts for export.

U.S. trade officials say they are also taking further action in another case filed in July against Chinese duties on American auto exports.  The president announced that case in a previous campaign trip to Ohio.

In Cincinnati on Monday, Obama strongly criticized his Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's business experience.  

The company Romney started, Bain Capital, invested in some companies that “outsourced,” or shifted jobs out of the United States.  The president called Bain's leaders “pioneers in outsourcing.”

“He made money investing in companies that uprooted from here and went to China.  'Pioneers.'  Now, Ohio, you cannot stand up to China when all you have done is sent them our jobs.”

Romney responded at a business gathering in Los Angeles, California.

“Now, the president may think that announcing new trade lawsuits, less than two months before the election, will distract from his record," said Romney. "But American businesses and workers struggling on an uneven playing field know better.  If I had known that all it took to get him to take action was to run an ad, citing his inaction on China's cheating, I would have run one a long time ago.”

Romney has long been critical of the president's performance on the China trade issue, and he has promised tougher action to enforce trade laws.

With 49 days remaining before the election, many public opinion surveys show Obama with a slight lead nationwide.

The president leads Romney by as many as seven percentage points in Ohio, a state many analysts say will play a key role in determining the outcome of the November 6 election.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: DB from: California
September 18, 2012 6:30 PM
Obama can't run on his record, so blame others whether it's people companies or countries.


by: Helen from: china
September 17, 2012 10:15 PM
I wonder why the US administration always treat China as enemy. It is said by my Japanese friends and China friends that the US is the true conspirator behind the Diaoyu island incident and your true conspiracy is to contain the development of China. I wonder why? Why you are always ready to launch wars?

In Response

by: Feng Dengyang from: China
September 18, 2012 2:02 AM
China is a big country. America wants to keep up its position .there is no doubt that all its action is aim to this. not only China ,but also Russia......The countries which stand on its way

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 18, 2012 12:48 AM
as president Obama said on 11, sep. The US just use this method to make itself 'more safer, more stronger'.

In Response

by: ObamaNation from: USA
September 17, 2012 11:26 PM
Hi Helen, Many millions of Americans don't agree with Mr. Obama. We thought security problems with President Bush were bad but with Obama the problem is 10x worse. We are losing our freedom every day and unless Obama cheats, he will not be president in 2013. Then you can start over with a new president and have a chance for peaceful relationships.

China is very resourceful to make trade agreements with so many other countries. USA hasn't made any trade agreements in the last 4 or 5 years. Same thing here in the USA, nothing to help make jobs, only thinking of ways to take more money from taxes. It's terrible now but will be so much better when elections come in November.

In Response

by: Harris from: In
September 17, 2012 11:24 PM
Context here is not WAR. It is presidential campaign for next elections.

Your comments were self defensive.

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