President Barack Obama is launching a trade action against a familiar fair trade foe: China.
According to Obama administration officials, he will announcement the trade enforcement case during a campaign visit in Ohio today. The case involves what the Obama administration says are illegal subsidies for Chinese automobiles and automobile parts. The administration says the subsidies put U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage and encourage manufacturing outsourcing to China.
Obama will be seeking a solution with the World Trade Organization, after efforts to stop China’s subsidies through direct talks failed. The U.S. is also pursuing a case with the WTO accusing China of imposing unfair duties on imported American vehicles.
What’s pushing Obama to ratchet up the pressure on China? Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, of course. Romney launched an ad last week that accused Obama of ignoring China’s trade practices, leading to a decrease in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and an increase in manufacturing in China. Romney has also accused Obama of not being hard enough on Chinese “cheating” on trade when he had the opportunity to challenge it.
Obama has countered with ads of his own, claiming Romney outsourced jobs to China while working in the private sector and that the GOP candidate has invested in Chinese companies.
For more information, check out this Associated Press article.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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