A hard line on China is worth the "backlash."
Kudos to Alex Roarty at National Journal for analyzing the contradictory stances on China of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his new VP running mate Paul Ryan.
As the Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) Executive Director Scott Paul pointed out yesterday, it's hypocritical for Paul Ryan to give a speech calling for a hard line on China when he has previously opposed legislation to penalize Beijing for its illegal currency manipulation.
Roarty's analysis suggests that China is so important an issue, that the Romney campaign will take the risk of Ryan being a flip-flopper:
That the Romney campaign, which surely knows Ryan's voting history, sent him to make a China-centric speech anyway indicates how important the country looms as an issue in November. Bashing Obama over China is too potent an attack, particularly among blue-collar voters anxious about the country's economic rise, to pass up. It's why, in 2010, a litany of congressional campaigns deployed the tactic so frequently.
AAM recently conducted a bipartisan national poll to determine voter attitudes toward China, outsourcing, etc. The findings showed that, across the board, voters favor tough action on China.
1. 62% of voters favor a “get tough” approach with China, as opposed to only 29% who say we should be careful not to “start a trade war.”
2. When asked if voters had heard about China manipulating its currency, 58% had heard vs. 40% who had not heard.
3. When asked if China’s currency manipulation had cost American jobs, helped create U.S. jobs, or had no effect: 64% said it cost jobs, 11% said no effect, 1% said had created jobs.
4. When asked if voters had heard about China cheating on trade agreements, 58% had heard vs. 40% who had not heard.
5. When asked if China’s cheating on trade agreements had cost American jobs, helped create U.S. jobs, or had no effect: 68% said it cost jobs, 10% said no effect, 2% said had created jobs.
6. When asked about enforcing trade laws to support a level playing field, 91% of voters were in favor.
7. When asked about penalizing nations such as China that manipulate their currency and cheat on trade agreements, 83% were in favor.
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