Mitt Romney on China
Governor Romney has taken a hardline stance against China in terms of intellectual property rights and currency manipulation. This view has increased in intensity as the 2012 election progressed.
At an August 2011 rally sponsored by the Pittsburgh Tribune, Governor Romney spoke of China as a friend that did not want to destroy the US, but rather wanted a strong US that could purchase products from China. In this manner, he said that China was different from Russia.
Days after this rally, Governor Romney spoke at another rally and stated that China was stealing intellectual property rights from the US and other nations and responsible for a large number of cyber attacks on US facilities and bases.
2012 Trade and Economic Plan
As part of his 2012 economic plan, Governor Romney specifically focuses on China with regards to trade and intellectual property. He states that China seeks to build up its economy by piggybacking on Western technological success, and that this is often accomplished by simply reverse-engineered American products with no regard for the patents and other protections of intellectual property rights that are crucial to US economic well-being. He states that the Chinese government facilitates this behavior by forcing American companies to share proprietary technology as a condition of their doing business in China.
Governor Romney also states that China manipulates its currency to reduce the price of its products relative to those of competing nations such as the US. He states that this provides an invisible subsidy to Chinese goods sold internationally and an invisible tariff on other nations attempting to sell in China. He asserts that China’s government often excludes foreign goods from consideration for its government purchases, invents regulations and standards that only Chinese companies can meet, and artificially lowers costs for Chinese companies.
To combat these issues, Governor Romney has proposed a set of measures. These measures include:
- Improve enforcement at the border to ensure that counterfit goods are not brought into the US from China
- Protect and pursue legal rights by having the Office of the United States Trade Representative pursue all significant claims of unfair trade practices, and have a more active role in encouraging private firms that have been victimized to raise claims both in U.S. courts and at the WTO.
- Impose targetted tarrifs or sanctions on Chinese firms or industries that rely on unfair practices or misappropriated American technology for their competitive advantage.
- Have the Department of the Treasury in a Romney administration designate China a currency manipulator and have the Department of Commerce impose countervailing duties.
- End US government procurement of Chinese goods until China agrees to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement
In March of 2012, Governor Romney stated at a campaign event that he was impressed with China's infrastructure during his trip to see the olympics there. He states that the US could look to China as an example of how lowered regulation can lead to greater productivity.
Pittsburgh Tribune Interview
In August of 2011, Governor Romney spoke for the Pittsburgh Tribune dinner and discussed China. He stated that China was not like the Soviet Union in that they did not seek to bury the US, but sought to have the US buy their products. He stated that China was an ally to be worked with on both economic and foreign issues.
New England Town Hall
In August of 2011, Governor Romney spoke at a campaign rally in New England and discussed China as an opponent in many areas. He noted that the Chinese were stealing intellectual property and launching cyber attacks against the US.
Believe in America Plan
Governor Romney discusses China prominently in his economic proposal for he 2012 Presidency. He states that if China did not act to float it's currency, one of his first actions as President would be to pass an executive order calling on the Department of Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator and then ask the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports.
An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices
- Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency
Trade policy is prominently featured in Governor Romney's plan. He states that President Obama and the US have lagged behind on signing free trade agreements while the European Union and China have aggressively pursued new agreements.
Governor Romney also devotes an entire section to confronting China. He calls for increased security at the border to fight the influx of counterfit products, the protection of intellectual property rights, possible tarrifs or economic sanctions, insisting on a reciprocal agreement, and denoting China as a currency manipulator.
Washington Post Op-Ed
On October 13, 2011 Governor Romney put out an op-ed in the Washington Post discussing China and the US policy towards the nation.
CBS Foreign Policy Debate
In November of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the CBS foreign policy debate. He was asked about China and he discusses his plan to deal with the the theft of intellectual property and other items.
Foreign Policy Platform
In November of 2011, Governor Romney's campaign put forth a foreign policy agenda that included a stance towards China.
China as a Model
In March of 2012, Governor Romney spoke at a town hall in Mississippi and addressed over regulation. He stated that the US could look to China as a model of how less regulation leads to greater productivity in some cases.
I got the chance after I lost to John McCain last time, to go over to -- that was the good part of losing -- I got to go to the Olympic Games in China. It's pretty impressive over there how quickly they can build things, how productive they are as a society. You should see their airport compared to our airports, their highways, their train systems. They're moving quickly in part because the regulators see their job as encouraging private people. It's amazing. The head of Coca-Cola said the business environment is friendlier in China than in America. And that's because of the regulators. That's because of government.