News / USA

US Elections Heat Up, China Trade Tensions Rise

US Elections Heat Up, China Trade Tensions Risei
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
William Ide
September 20, 2012 3:08 PM
Trade tensions between China and the United States escalated this week, with both countries filing international trade complaints against each other. And as the U.S. presidential campaign heats up, China is increasingly finding itself the focus of attention. VOA’s William Ide has more from Beijing.
William Ide
Trade tensions between China and the United States escalated this week, with both countries filing international trade complaints against each other. And as the U.S. presidential campaign heats up, China is increasingly finding itself the focus of attention.

President Barack Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney are talking tough on trade with China.

Earlier this week, Obama announced a new World Trade Organization case over Chinese automobile subsidies. He also brushed off accusations from his opponent that he is not doing enough to pressure China on unfair trade practices.

Beijing quickly responded with a WTO case of its own, challenging a new U.S. law that allows duties on subsidized goods from China.

"Both sides should resolve our differences in an appropriate manner on the basis of mutual respect and equal benefits, through dialogue and consultation," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.  "We oppose the politicization of the issue, and the engagement in trade and investment protectionism.”

China’s Commerce Ministry responded to Washington’s WTO action more directly, arguing that Beijing is becoming a victim of election politics. But with the two countries’ economies so closely intertwined, analysts say it is becoming difficult to keep politics out of trade policy - especially as the U.S. economy continues to struggle.

"There is just an immense amount of frustration on both sides of the aisle [among both the Republican and Democrat parties] in the United States, in both parties in terms of what will work with China," said Patrick Chovanec, a Beijing-based economist.

Not too long ago, Chinese trade disputes were a more abstract foreign policy issue, but they are now widely viewed as directly affecting American jobs and prosperity. The high stakes lead to more complaints.

"Some of the measures that the Obama administration has pursued have more merit than others," said Chovanec. "Input subsidies with Chinese raw materials and rules preventing access for American movies are some of the things that have the greatest merit, and really deal with, sort of, important issues in terms of market access to China. The tire tariff I think was more of a sop to the steel workers unions, and there have been others that have been more political in nature.”

The auto trade case President Obama filed this week was his second in recent months, and both coincided with trips to Ohio, an auto manufacturing state that could prove crucial in the November elections.

In July, the Obama administration accused China of placing unfair duties on some $3 billion worth of U.S. car exports.  This week’s case focuses on $1 billion in subsidies the Chinese government provides companies for the export of cars and car parts.

You May Like

In US, Still No Decision in Racially-charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid