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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid