Jeff Bader, Obama Aide
Slams Romney's Tough Talk on China
October 25, 2012
A foreign policy adviser to President Barack Obama says Republican
candidate Mitt Romney's pledge to label China a currency manipulator on
his first day in office is irresponsible and risks upsetting U.S.-China
At a debate Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University, Obama's former senior
Asia policy aide Jeff Bader said it is "astonishing" 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 Communist Party leaders will "not be in a passive mood for threats
and being backed into corners." He said he guarantees they will
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."
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 preferring to use pressure and
diplomacy to encourage reforms.
Bader says that strategy is working, pointing out that the value of the
renminbi against the dollar has risen by about 30 percent since 2005.
But Friedberg says the label is necessary, saying it would "put China on
notice" that the U.S. is ready to act on a number of other trade