By Geneva Sands - 09/24/12 12:50 PM EDT
Republican candidate Mitt Romney's campaign released a new television ad Monday accusing President Obama of failing to stand "up to China," costing American workers jobs.
“Fewer Americans are working today than when President Obama took office. It doesn’t have to be this way, if Obama would stand up to China," says a narrator in the ad. "China is stealing American ideas and technology. Everything from computers to fighter jets."
The Romney team points to the Treasury Department's decision not to label China a currency manipulator.
In May, the Treasury Department said China did not meet its definition of a currency manipulator. Critics of the move said that Beijing had undervalued its currency, making American exports more expensive and contributing to the $300 billion trade deficit with China last year.
Treasury officials said China had made promises to quickly adopt a more flexible exchange rate system.
The new ad is the latest in the back-and-forth between campaigns over which candidate would be tougher with China.
Romney has charged that Obama failed to be an effective advocate against unfair trade practices.
The Obama campaign has hit back, touting the president’s trade suits against China, claiming they saved thousands of auto-industry jobs in the Midwest.
Last week, the administration filed a trade case against China before the World Trade Organization. The suit claims China provided $1 billion in illegal export subsidies to auto and auto-parts companies.
Both campaigns have taken their pleas to Midwestern swing states, with Obama announcing last week’s trade complaint at a campaign rally in Cincinnati.
This week Romney and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) will also campaign in Ohio, where they will discuss the "need to protect U.S. intellectual property rights from cheaters in China," according to a memo released Monday by senior campaign adviser Ed Gillespie.
The Obama campaign immediately hit back against Romney's claims, releasing a memorandum on Monday in response to the Romney TV ad.
"In another widely forecasted campaign reboot, Mitt Romney will roll out another new message this week in Ohio. Taking a break from ripping the president's words out of context, he’ll instead claim that the president has not held China accountable — ignoring the fact that the President has taken unprecedented actions against China’s unfair trade practices," wrote Obama for America national press secretary Ben LaBolt in the memorandum.
The Obama campaign also accused Romney of hypocrisy, saying that he profited from investments in China while heading private equity firm Bain Capital.
"As he [Romney] rolls his bus through the many Ohio towns that are benefiting from the president’s actions to save the auto industry and protect American workers from unfair Chinese trade practices, Mitt Romney will, as they say, have some explaining to do," continued LaBolt.