The Washington Post reports today on dueling trade complaints between China and the U.S. Here’s the American side:
U.S. officials accuse China of giving subsidies to its auto parts industry, and the Obama administration has steadily amped up enforcement actions against China at the WTO through tariffs and other duties….“Export subsidies are prohibited under WTO rules because they are unfair and severely distort international trade,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement on Monday.
….On Monday [Mitt] Romney quickly pounced on the WTO filing, accusing the administration of waging a “campaign-season trade case” that “may sound good on the stump but is too little too late for American businesses and middle-class families.”
Don’t you just love campaigns? I mean, Romney is probably right: the timing of this action does seem a mite convenient, doesn’t it? On the other hand, no one has used China bashing as a cynical campaign tool more than Romney himself. It’s a little hard to take his feigned outrage seriously.
But I’m sure we’ll clear this all up during the debates. Those are usually calm, clear-headed discussions of policy differences that help the American public cut through all the election-year hot air. Right?