China, manufacturing take spotlight in race

Oct 04, 2012 | 10:07 AM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  trade issues, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, manufacturing, federal elections, Scott Paul, Thomas Gibson, Alan Tonelson AISI

NEW YORK — With only weeks to go before the November elections, both presidential candidates are increasingly pushing China, trade and manufacturing to center stage, a development that some analysts say is surprising.

In recent months, both President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have ramped up talk on how strengthening the domestic manufacturing sector—by means such as offering accessible and affordable energy—and monitoring the U.S. trade relationship with China will benefit U.S. voters.

"Even though the economy is awful, there is widespread concern out there in the electorate about China. ... However, I’m surprised to see that China trade issues have taken such a high profile in the campaigns on the presidential level. In fact, I don’t recall these subjects being raised to such significance in any other general election campaign," Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the Washington-based U.S. Business and Industry Council, said. "Here we are with just weeks until the elections, and these subjects seem hotter than ever." ....

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