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Obama knocks China trade policy and takes shot at Romney on campaign tour

MAUMEE, Ohio -- U.S. President Barack Obama took a shot at China and Republican rival Mitt Romney on Thursday, complaining to the World Trade Organization that Beijing is abusing trade laws by imposing more than US$3 billion in duties on U.S. automobile exports.

"Americans aren't afraid to compete," Obama told an enthusiastic crowd in this northern Ohio city hours after his administration filed the complaint with the WTO.

"As long as we're competing on a fair playing field instead of an unfair playing field, we're going to do just fine. We're going to make sure that competition is fair."

The Democratic president's speech kicked off a two-day campaign bus tour aimed largely at blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania and Ohio, crucial battleground states in the Nov. 6 presidential election.

The complaint to the WTO seemed directed particularly at Ohio, home to thousands of auto-supply workers, many of whom have jobs likely saved by the U.S. government's US$80 billion bailout of the industry Obama supported and Romney opposed.

It was also a counterpunch to Romney's claims that Obama has not been tough enough on China's trade policies, and gave Obama's campaign another way to remind voters of its efforts to tie Romney's work as a private equity executive to the outsourcing of American jobs to China.

The WTO in Geneva confirmed it had received the complaint from the United States, the nation's third such challenge to China following action against duties imposed by Beijing on the exports of certain U.S. steel and chicken products.

July 7, 2012    chas_holman@
Governor Romney has been desperately trying to avoid talking about Bain Capital and other investments of his that have consolidated and shut down jobs galore in the US, and shipped so many other jobs over seas.

Suddenly he wants to talk about jobs? Good, I have some questions to ask him.
July 13, 2012    givemeabreak@
Romney's Bain Capital had an 80% success rate of turning around companies on the brink of bankruptcy. So evil. You think it should have been a 100%? Under US policy and regulations it's a wonder that any corporation is operating within the US borders. 30 billion of Obama's stimulus (funded by US taxpayers) went immediately and directly to foreign countries. Bain capital invested their own money, at their own risk not the US taxpayers. Obama has made the US the largest debtor in the history of the world and still has nothing to show for it. The sad thing is, it's all by design.
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