The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: China Remains Focus of Debate on Economy

by Newsteam Staff
October 11, 2012

Photo of the Day: Beaverly Barry picks up a poster of the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky October 10, 2012. (John Gress/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: Beaverly Barry picks up a poster of the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky October 10, 2012. (John Gress/Courtesy Reuters)

The United States upheld tariffs on Chinese solar panels (AP) Wednesday as GOP nominee Mitt Romney warned that China’s economy is “gaining fast” (AFP) but that the United States can remain the world’s top economy if fair trade practices are upheld.

Both President Obama and Romney have been focusing on China as a way to make their economic points about international trade and jobs being sent overseas.

This CFR Issue Tracker details both candidates’ stances on U.S.-China policy.


Dov Zakheim, a Romney adviser for foreign policy, debated Richard Verma, who holds a similar position for the Obama campaign, at a forum on foreign policy and military strategy (NPR).

Zakheim affirmed Romney’s support for six-party talks on North Korea (Yonhap) but said that Pyongyang needs to stop exploiting them in order to buy time to increase its nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile NPR reports, Verma criticized Romney’s defense plans, including plans to add 100,000 ground troops, which Verma said would cost an additional $2 trillion over the next decade.

This CFR Issue Tracker looks at both candidates’ stances on North Korea.


In an interview with Diane Sawyer, President Obama said that his economic policy in a second term would focus on building a solid economic foundation for everyone after having spent his first term dealing with specific economic crises. He also said:

What we have to have is a foundation that’s built on a good education system, a sound energy policy, a health care system that works for everybody, financial regulations that ensure we don’t have this crisis again, and those foundations for long-term economic growth are going to be my focus this year. They’re going to be my focus next year. They’re going to be my focus the year after that because if we don’t get that stuff right, then it’s going to be very difficult for us to answer the anxieties that people feel over the long-term.

Read more about the candidates’ positions on the economy in this CFR Issue Tracker.

–Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri

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