Reposted from Inside U.S. Trade’s World Trade Online
Ryan Endorses Romney’s Tough Talk On China Despite Currency Vote
August 16, 2012 | World Trade Online
Presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), tapped on Aug. 11 to be the running mate of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, this week backed Romney’s campaign pledge to crack down further on unfair Chinese trade practices and criticized President Obama for not being tough enough on Beijing.
In an Aug. 16 campaign speech in Ohio, Ryan lauded free trade as a “powerful tool for peace and prosperity,” but said U.S. trading partners and China in particular need to play by the rules. He accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property, blocking access to its markets and manipulating its currency.
“President Obama promised he would stop these practices. He said he’d go to the mat with China. Instead, they’re treating him like a doormat,” Ryan said. “We’re not going to let that happen. Mitt Romney and I are going to crack down on China cheating, and we’re going to make sure that trade works for Americans.”
Ryan’s endorsement of his running mate’s tough talk on China is significant given that, as a member of Congress, he has not taken a particularly strong stance against Beijing on trade issues.
For instance, he voted against a bill the House passed in 2010 that would have authorized the Commerce Department to investigate undervalued currency as a countervailable subsidy in countervailing duty cases. That bill passed the House by a vote 348-79, but was not taken up in the Senate.
Ryan also voted to extend most-favored nation status to China in 2000 ahead of its accession to the World Trade Organization.
That said, Ryan did vote in favor of a bill in March that affirmed Commerce’s right to impose countervailing duties to non-market economies like China and Vietnam. The vote was to counteract an appeals court ruling in the case of GPX International Tires v. the United States and retroactively kept in place more than 20 countervailing duty cases that would have been invalid had the court
decision taken effect.