Concerned about the U.S. economy, voters are split on whether or not a growing China is good for the United States, Gallup says. Of those surveyed, 45 percent of voters said they think a strong Chinese economy is good for the United States, 48 percent said they see it as bad, and 7 percent said it had no impact or they didn’t know.
In addition to average voters, Gallup also surveyed opinion leaders, including business executives, government officials, think tank leaders, university faculty and members of the media. Of the opinion leaders surveyed, 61 percent say a growing China is good for the United States and 45 percent count it as negative.
Twenty-three percent of voters and 30 percent of opinion leaders said they agree with the statement that Chinese investment in the United States brings growth and jobs; 32 percent of both groups said they disagree. Both groups are also concerned about Chinese monetary policy with 42 percent of voters and 48 percent of U.S. opinion leaders agree that China’s currency is a major contributing factor to the U.S. economic situation, according to the Gallup poll.
Since the State of the Union this year, President Obama have vowed to get tougher on China’s trade practices. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has said on his first day in office he plans to declare China a currency manipulator ans slap tariffs on Chinese goods as punishment.
President Barack Obama called North Korea’s rocket launch “provocative” (AP) and said he is ending a food aid agreement reached with Pyonyang in February because of the act of international defiance.
The launch was unsuccessful, with the rocket falling into the Yellow Sea eighty seconds into flight, about the time its second stage should have kicked in.
Romney condemned the launch in a statement, holding the Obama administration partly responsible for North Korea’s bad behavior against the will of the rest of the world.
“Instead of approaching Pyongyang from a position of strength, President Obama sought to appease the regime with a food-aid deal that proved to be as naïve as it was short-lived,” Romney said. “At the same time, [Obama] has cut critical U.S. missile defense programs and continues to underfund them.”
Though some analysts say gas prices have peaked (CBS), President Obama discussed oil markets with France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy (Reuters) but declined to say whether they discussed releases from strategic oil reserves*. The White House has discussed a release with British Prime Minister David Cameron in March. But no international agreement has been reached so far, say Energy Department officials.
“There are many factors we have been analyzing including inventories and production,” Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman said. “And we are consulting our colleagues at the [International Energy Agency] to figure out what makes sense going forward.”
– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor
*Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated that Obama and Sarkozy discussed releases from the strategic reserve.