Below is an op-ed written by Romney’s Policy Director, Lanhee Chen:
When he ran for president, candidate Obama said he would take China “to the mat” over its unfair trade practices – but instead he is the one being treated like a doormat.
China still does not play by the rules or provide an open and level playing field on which we can compete. In fact, the most recent data shows that while China continues to grow its economy rapidly, our exports to China are actually falling!
If Mitt is elected President, he will not tolerate this situation. He will get tough with China.
Make no mistake – Mitt is a strong believer in free trade and open markets. Opening new markets overseas creates new demand for American products and services, which in turn creates new jobs for American workers. As the world’s second largest economy, and one of the fastest growing, China offers incredible opportunities for American companies. If these companies are able to compete in the Chinese market, they will create countless jobs here at home.
Unfortunately, China is trying to deprive America of that opportunity. For too long, we have allowed China to take advantage of our goodwill and commitment to openness. We have opened our own markets to them, but we have gotten little in return. They steal our technology, manipulate their currency, and put up barriers that prevent us from competing. As a result, for every four dollars of goods China sells into our market, we are only able to sell one dollar’s worth into theirs. The resulting trade imbalance is the largest in the history of the world.
The company Mitt is visiting today, Screen Machine, is an example of the problem American companies face. Screen Machine represents the heart and soul of our economy and the potentially vibrant future of manufacturing in this country. Steel comes in one door. Incredibly advanced machines are driven out the other door by remote control, to be sold to countries around the world.
Selling to China is the biggest opportunity for Screen Machine to grow its sales and hire new workers – but they can’t. They worry that if they send their machines to China, then copies of the machines will start showing up around the world at knock-off prices. They already have seen websites in China that show pictures of their machines with the company logo blurred out. They can’t compete in an environment like that.
If we can confront China and persuade them to play by the rules, then companies like Screen Machine will be at the forefront of turning around our economy and creating the jobs Americans need.