Washington: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney lashed out on Beijing for its alleged unfair trade practices and said that he would label China as a "currency manipulator" on the first day of his presidency if he wins the November 6 elections.
"On day one, I will do something which is authorized under our statutes, under our law, which is to label China a currency manipulator and will instruct us to apply tariffs as they are stealing our technology, counterfeiting our products or artificially holding down the price of their goods," Romney said on Wednesday at an election campaign event in Ohio.
Responding to a question from the audience, Romney said the US under him would compete with China and will win with most productive, innovative people in the world. The US will not allow them to take American jobs through unfair trade practices.
Observing that China is now the number one manufacturer; its economy is the second-largest in the world and on track to become larger than ours, Romney said China is growing much faster than the US.
"Last quarter our economy grew at 1.3 per cent. Theirs grew at 7 or 8 per cent. So they`re gaining fast. And they`re smart, capable people, and productive," he said.
"What they have done is they have taken advantage of our laxity in enforcing fair trade, making sure that we can compete with anyone in the world as long as the playing field is level. But China`s been aggressive, and they`ve done a few things that have made it hard for us, unfair," he said.
One is they have held down the value of their currency artificially. And you might think, well, what difference does that make? Well, that means the prices of their products are artificially low. When they do that, they`re able to win bids or win business away from manufacturers that are paying in dollars, he said, adding that the result of that is American companies have lost a lot of jobs and gone out of business.
In addition the Chinese counterfeit American products, he alleged, "I was with a manufacturer that makes valves for industrial uses. He said that they were showing up as some of their customers and having to replace the valves that had failed, and they were surprised to have their product failing and it had their serial number on it and their packaging. It turned out it was not their product. It was being counterfeited in China, brought over here as their product with their brand name and their serial number on it," he alleged.
"This can`t go on. We have looked the other way for a long time because for a long time China was poor and just an emerging economy and we hoped that they`d do better. Well, now they`re serious. They`re taking jobs. And we`ve been looking the other way too long," Romney said.