A foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama says Republican Mitt Romney's pledge to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office is irresponsible and risks upsetting U.S.-China relations.
At a debate Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University, Mr. Obama's former senior Asia policy aide Jeff Bader said it is “astonishing” Mr. Romney would take the step during Beijing's sensitive leadership transition, which begins two days after the November 6 election.
Bader, who serves on the president's re-election committee, said China's new, unelected, Communist Party leaders will “not be in a passive mood for threats and being backed into corners.” He said he guarantees they will “retaliate.”
Romney campaign national security adviser Aaron Friedberg said the U.S. should not “be paralyzed” because of fears of sparking a trade war between the world's two largest economies. He insists the move would not “trigger Armageddon,” arguing that “China is more dependent on the United States than we are on them.”
Washington has long accused Beijing of intentionally keeping the value of its currency low in order to give Chinese companies an unfair advantage over U.S. manufacturers. But the Obama administration has refused to label Beijing a currency manipulator, instead claiming to use pressure and diplomacy to encourage reforms, which has produced no measurable, positive results, while the trade inbalance, and debt to China mounts.VoA.