YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Paul Ryan hit the Obama administration for delaying the decision to “label China a currency manipulator” until after Election Day, telling a crowd in this Democratic county in the crucial swing state of Ohio they are insisting on “ignoring these problems that we have with trade with China.”
“The administration had their eighth chance to label China a currency manipulator — it’s due in two days — they say they are going to push this deadline off until after the election,” Ryan said at a town hall at Youngstown University. “That’s eight opportunities to say, ‘You know what, play fair with us, trade with us fairly.’
“We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of jobs according to one study because of just this problem,” Ryan said. “Two million jobs we’ve lost, according to the International Trade Commission, because of one country, China, taking our intellectual property rights, meaning taking our patents, taking our goods that we make and copying them and selling them — that’s not correct, that’s not right, that’s cheating.”
Ryan is referring to the U.S. Treasury saying Friday it will delay the publication of a report that could name China a currency manipulator until after the presidential election in November. The Treasury said it wanted to postpone the Oct. 15 deadline to allow for the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 leading economies on Nov. 4 and 5, but it also avoids publishing the report before the election Nov. 6.
Mitt Romney has consistently called China a currency manipulator and labeled the administration as not tough enough on the country.
The study Ryan is citing, from the U.S. International Trade Commission, actually says 2 million jobs could have been created, according to the Washington Post, not that they were lost.
Ryan campaign spokesman Michael Steel explained from their point of view, “A lost job is a lost job.”
The GOP vice presidential nominee said his ticket will “do something about it” and “stop this kind of cheating from occurring.”
“If people are manipulating our currency, we are going to say that they are manipulating our currency,” Ryan said. “If they are stealing our products, we are going to say ‘stop stealing our products or else you have consequences.’ That’s a big deal. That takes our jobs. You have to stand up for the American manufacturing system. Giving good speeches, saying the right thing, that sounds good, but getting it done is what matters.”
Mahoning County, where Youngstown University is located, went to Barack Obama in 2008 with 62 percent to 35.6 percent for John McCain.
No Republican has gone to the White House without taking the Buckeye State and the most recent poll out of this critical state, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, has the president ahead with 51 percent to 45 percent for Romney.
Ryan also stopped at a soup kitchen at a Catholic church in nearby Canfield. It was after those being served had left, but he greeted some volunteers there telling his three children who were with him, “This is really important.”
Although, Romney has consistently portrayed the Obama administration as soft on China, George W. Bush planned to spend $17 billion on an initiative to try to limit China from stealing Pentagon technology, according to the same Washington Post article, and in May 2009 the Obama administration expanded on that program.
Two months later, Defense Secretary Robert Gates started a new U.S. Cyber Command to address threats to the Defense Department’s computer networks.
The Obama campaign said it was incongruous for Ryan to criticize the president’s record as being weak on China, when Romney criticized the administration for standing up to China, and with the record of Bain Capital, the private equity firm he ran.
“Congressman Ryan’s tough rhetoric can’t hide the fact that Mitt Romney will never crack down on China’s cheating — just look at his record,” a statement from Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said. “When President Obama stood up to China on behalf of American tire workers, Romney called it ‘decidedly bad for the nation.’ In the private sector, he led investments in companies that shipped American jobs to China, and in a Chinese company known for the cheating he condemns today.
“Now, experts say his tax plan could create as many as 800,000 jobs overseas, while independent economists agree his plans could slow our recovery and cost us American jobs,” Kanner said. “A PowerPoint can’t hide the simple truth: all Romney and Ryan are offering is the same failed policies that led to the crisis and punished middle class families in the first place.”