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GOP2012: Republican debate, December 15th, 2011
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Romney Flip-Flopped on being tough on China

January 07, 2012 at 11:00 p.m. ET

 

ROMNEY CRITICIZED OBAMA FOR IMPOSING TARIFFS ON CHINESE TIRES CALLING IT “PROTECTIONISM”

Romney: Obama’s Chinese Tire Tariffs Are “Bad For The Nation And Our Workers” And Called It “Protectionism.”  “President Obama’s action to defend American tire companies from foreign competition may make good politics by repaying unions for their support of his campaign, but it is decidedly bad for the nation and our workers. Protectionism stifles productivity.” [Romney, No Apology (Case for American Greatness), Page 119 (audio available)]

…THEN CLAIMED THAT HE WOULD IMPOSE TARIFFS ON CHINA

Romney Said He Would Clamp Down On China By Designating Them A Currency Manipulator And Which “Allows Us To Apply Tariffs.” In an interview with Mitt Romney, Greta Van Susteren asked, “So what's sort of the mechanics of your clamping down on China?” Romney, “Well, first of all is to designate China as a currency manipulator, which allows us to apply tariffs to goods where we think their manipulation is having the greatest impact, and particularly in places where they're stealing our intellectual property. And you know, that means our patents, our designs, our know-how, where they are stealing, where they're hacking into our computer systems or where they're doing -- as we saw the other day, selling out of stores, Apple stores, apparently, Apple goods, and they weren't really legitimate Apple stores or legitimate Apple goods. Look, when that sort of thing is happening, we have to take corrective action. You can't just sit there and take that year after year. America has to say that if you're going to enter into an agreement with this country that we expect you to live by it. And right now, they're selling to America a multiple of what we sell to them, and that's not something that can go on forever. It's clearly the result of currency manipulation. That's got to end. And tariff and currency manipulator status is one way to do that.” [On The Record With Greta Van Susteren, Fox, 9/6/11]

Romney Said He Would Put Tariffs On China “If They Don’t Abide By The Rules.” In an interview with Mitt Romney, Larry Kudlow asked what Romney’s corrective actions would be on China.  Romney said, “Well, you take a--when you negotiate, you let them know that you're willing to take whatever action is necessary, and that would include, for instance, if they've stolen intellectual property on a particular series of goods that you're going to put tariffs on their products if they don't abide by the rules.” [Kudlow Report, CNBC, 9/6/11]

AUGUST 2011: WHEN ROMNEY DECIDED HE WOULD SUDDENLY GET TOUGH ON CHINA AFTER CRITICIZING THE PRESIDENT FOR ENFORCING TRADE LAWS, HE DUMPED BETWEEN $700,000-1.5 MILLION OF HIS INVESTMENTS IN CHINA

Romney’s Financial Advisers In Charge Of His Blind Trusts Sold All Of Romney’s Investments In China After Mid-August, About The Time Romney Made “Confronting China” On Trade Part Of His Economic Platform. “Mitt Romney's financial advisers shed all his investments in China, worth as much as $1.5 million, at some point after mid-August, about the time that Mr. Romney made ‘confronting China’ on trade a central plank of his economic platform as a Republican presidential candidate. The investments were held in blind trusts for Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, according to his most recent financial-disclosure forms filed with election officials in mid-August. His campaign said that the former Massachusetts governor did not make investment decisions related to the trusts, and that his financial advisers tried to keep his portfolio consistent with his beliefs.” [Wall Street Journal, 12/17/11]

Romney Acquired Investments In Chinese Enterprises Like China Merchant Holdings And Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China, Worth $700,000 To $1.5 Million Sometime After His First Presidential Campaign. “The blind trusts for Mr. and Mrs. Romney held investments in Chinese enterprises worth from $700,000 to $1.5 million, according to the disclosure forms. They included holdings in China's largest port operator, China Merchant Holdings; its largest commercial bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China; and a for-profit Chinese education company that was sued by a U.S. testing company for allegedly stealing copyrighted material. The U.S. company won a court award in Beijing. The investments don't appear in financial-disclosure forms that Mr. Romney filed in 2007 for his 2008 presidential campaign, suggesting they were acquired after that. Campaign officials said that they were sold within the last couple of months.” [Wall Street Journal, 12/17/11]

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