Need to crack down on cheater China: Mitt Romney

Last Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 14:45

Washington: Seeking expansion of the US trade overseas, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has stressed on the need to crack down on what he called China`s unfair trade practices.

"We have got to have more trade. We need to open up trade with Latin America and other parts of the world and crack down on cheaters like China when they cheat and steal jobs with unfair trading practices," Romney told his supporters at an election campaign event in New Mexico.

Meanwhile, a report released by a US think tank said that between 2001 and 2011, the trade deficit with China eliminated or displaced more than 2.7 million US jobs, over 2.1 million of which (76.9 percent) were in manufacturing.

These lost manufacturing jobs account for more than half of all US manufacturing jobs lost or displaced between 2001 and 2011.

According to Economy Policy Institute, more than 2.7 million jobs lost or displaced in all sectors include 662,100 jobs from 2008 to 2011 alone, even though imports from China and the rest of the world plunged in 2009. Imports from China have since recovered and surpassed their peak of 2008.

Following the release of a new report, a top American Senator, Sherrod Brown, renewed his call for the US House of Representatives to act on his Currency Exchange and Oversight Reform Act, legislation that represents the biggest bipartisan jobs bill, at no cost to US taxpayers, passed by the Senate last year.

“The US-China trade deficit has inflicted serious damage on the American economy over the last decade. Some say that standing up for our jobs by fighting back against currency manipulation would start a trade war with China, but we’re already in a trade war," Brown said.

"We must put American workers, manufacturers, and small businesses first. We need to crack down on China`s illegal and unfair currency manipulation and help level the playing field for American businesses," he said.

According to the report `The China Toll`, most of the jobs lost or displaced by trade with China between 2001 and 2011 were in manufacturing industries (more than 2.1 million jobs, or 76.9 percent).

Within manufacturing, rapidly growing imports of computer and electronic products (including computers, parts, semiconductors, and audio-video equipment) accounted for 54.9 percent of the USD 217.5 billion increase in the US trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2011, the report said.

"The growth of this deficit contributed to the elimination of 1,064,800 US jobs in computer and electronic products in this period. Indeed, in 2011, the total US trade deficit with China was USD 301.6 billion, USD 139.3 billion of which was in computer and electronic products," it said.

Global trade in advanced technology products, often discussed as a source of comparative advantage for the United States, is instead dominated by China, the report said.

"In 2011, the US had a USD 109.4 billion deficit in advanced technology products with China, which was responsible for 36.3 per cent of the total US-China trade deficit. In contrast, the US had a USD 9.7 billion surplus in advanced technology products with the rest of the world in 2011," the report said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, August 24, 2012 - 14:45

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