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Transition 2012

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

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Midday Update: Candidates Understate Nuances on China

by Newsteam Staff
October 18, 2012

Photo of the Day: A father holds up a baby to catch a glimpse of President Obama during a campaign rally October 17, 2012. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters) Photo of the Day: A father holds up a baby to catch a glimpse of President Obama during a campaign rally October 17, 2012. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

While both President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney have spent significant amounts of time talking about how to deal with China’s trade practices, the reality of currency manipulation is far more nuanced, reports the New York Times.

Contrary to Romney’s statements, China has allowed its currency to appreciate by 24 percent since 2005, and the IMF described it as only “moderately undervalued” in July, writes CNBC’s Dhara Ranasinghe. And the Peterson Institute for International Economics has said that while Obama’s highly touted tariffs on Chinese tires did save about 1,000 jobs, they also caused a net loss of 2,531 jobs and cost the economy about $1.1 billion (Bloomberg).

The candidates have also omitted any mention of how they would “handle the challenges China’s burgeoning economic, diplomatic and military might pose to U.S. pre-eminence,” according to the Associated Press. “For all the talk about getting tough on Beijing, the U.S. and China are deeply entwined, defying easy solutions to the friction and troubles that beset their relations,” reports AP.


Despite the candidates’ competing statements on domestic energy production during Tuesday night’s debate, oil and natural gas production has been roughly the same during President Obama’s time in office as it was during that of President George W. Bush, according to the Washington Times.

Obama has portrayed GOP nominee Mitt Romney as under-supporting renewable energy, but  Romney says he supports the development of renewable energy sources with the elimination of government grants and loans to fund their development (NBC). Meanwhile, Romney has cast Obama as being against fossil fuels, though production has increased slightly under Obama.


While sequestration – the package of automatic budget cuts that will kick in January if Congress does not reach a budget deal by then – is often discussed in terms of defense spending, its impact will also be felt by businesses across the country (CBS).

 –Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri

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