You know a US election is looming when aspiring presidential candidates start bashing China.
The latest to take up the baton is Mitt Romney, who is seeking to secure the Republican ticket. At a debate last week he promised to designate China a “currency manipulator” if elected to the White House, as well as impose trade sanctions. Whether he was trying to stake out this manly position before Rick Perry could capture it (and perhaps go even further and label China “a giant Ponzi scheme”), or if he truly believes this is good economics remains to be seen. However, Romney’s remarks drew a sharp response from fellow candidate Jon Huntsman, the former US ambassador to China. Huntsman shot back that “now is not the time, in a recession, to enter a trade war”. The Wall Street Journal agreed with Huntsman, questioning why the former Massachusetts governor was going against his free trade instincts. This was a case of “Romney’s China blunder”, the newspaper thought.
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