Obama Is Suing China Again... What Would Mitt Do-- Or What Would Adelson Let Mitt Do?
While the media and the silly Romney campaign continues to argue about his Swiss bank accounts, his tax havens in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda and how the tens of millions of dollars he stashed abroad could have been used to invest or re-invest here at home to create jobs, his campaign is being funded by money coming from a Chinese prostitution racket. Organized crime kingpin Sheldon Adelson is the biggest single contributor to the Republican Party and to Romney's campaign and Romney refuses to return the tainted Chinese cash.
The Romney sideshow didn't distract President Obama yesterday when it came to China, though. He took the first steps towards instituting a suit against China with the WTO over China's cheating over auto exports. The President's point is that China unfairly imposed duties on the American exports, duties that violate international trade rules. Romney may make bellicose noises about China's trade policies but he's firmly in bed with Chinese industrialists. Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, made it clear that Obama's approach is the right one for American manufacturers and workers.
American workers and manufacturers strongly support President Obama’s decision to launch a trade enforcement action against China’s unfair auto tariffs. The deck in China is stacked against American automakers and workers, and this case will help to level the playing field.
Less than one percent of the estimated 18 million vehicles sold in China last year were made in America, despite the fact that the Detroit Three brands are growing more popular every day.
This Administration has a stellar record on enforcing America’s trade laws and has not hesitated to take action to defend American workers-- today’s announcement is further proof of that. But, there is more work to do.
Chinese auto parts are surging into America, aided by Chinese government subsidies. Unless strong steps are taken now to also defend American auto parts jobs, the efforts of the auto companies, unions, and the Administration to revitalize the American auto sector could be washed away in a matter of a few years.
The Obama Administration complaint says the damages are over $3 billion. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk made it clear that Obama plans to continue “to hold China accountable for its WTO commitments.”
Under WTO rules, countries are allowed to impose punitive tariffs to offset damage from both subsidies and dumping-- selling products at below market value-- but the U.S. contends that in this and other cases, China has used those remedy measures in an unfair and retaliatory way to hurt American exporters.
Last month, the U.S. successfully challenged Chinese tariffs imposed on American high-technology steel products and has also disputed tariffs levied on chicken products.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that the Chinese duties cover more than 80 percent of U.S. auto exports to China and fall disproportionately on General Motors, or GM, and Chrysler because of the actions Obama took to support the auto industry during the financial crisis.
...China and the U.S. are at odds over a slew of trade issues. In March, the U.S., the European Union and Japan brought a trade case against China over its curtailment of exports of rare earth minerals over whose production China has a virtual monopoly. Those minerals are used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat-screen televisions and other high-tech goods. China says curbing rare earth exports is for environmental protection, not intended to help Chinese companies.
With American manufacturers still struggling to recover from the financial crisis, and unemployment running over 8 percent, the administration is keen to show it is getting tough on discriminatory trade practices by its chief economic rival-- also its main foreign creditor-- blamed by many in the U.S. for a loss of American manufacturing jobs.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney has accused Obama of being too soft on China. The Obama campaign has accused Romney of outsourcing jobs to China when he ran a private equity firm.
Asked about whether Thursday’s announcement was timed for political effect, Carney said the action “has been in development for many, many months” and the timing was determined by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office.
Republicans make a lot of noise about China but China has preferred the GOP's outsourcing and off-shoring policies and has illegally helped finance the Republican takeover of the House and several pro-China Republican Senate candidates, particularly Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey, each of whom advocates very pro-China policies much to the detriment of American workers and American manufacturers. Adelson's biggest source of money is from his shady activities in China and he certainly acts-- and donates-- in their interests. His support of Romney should be a major red flag for American manufacturers and American workers.