BEIJING — Mitt Romney’s tough talk on China is getting more pushback from authorities in Beijing.
On Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate released a new ad on manufacturing jobs contending that “for the first time, China is beating us” and that President Obama has “failed to stop China’s cheating.” Campaigning in Virginia, Romney added: ”The president has had the chance year after year to label, to label China a currency manipulator, but he hasn’t done so and I will label China the currency manipulator they are on the first day.”
The official New China news agency responded Friday with an editorial calling Romney’s remarks “as false as they are foolish” and saying that it is “ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.”
The editorial warned that if Romney’s “mud-slinging tactics were to become U.S. government policies, a trade war would be very likely to break out between the world’s top two economies, which would be catastrophic enough to both sides and the already groaning global economy.”
China’s currency, the renminbi, has appreciated about 30 percent against the dollar in the last seven years, but the government still plays a strong role in determining its valuation. The Congressional Research Service says the renminbi remains too cheap relative to the dollar, making Chinese goods inexpensive for U.S. consumers but making American goods relatively pricey for Chinese.