President Obama is challenging Mitt Romney’s promises to crack down on China’s trading practices, saying in an ad released Saturday that the Republican candidate profited by allowing China to strip away US jobs.
Obama’s ad turns again to a recent Washington Post report that several businesses backed by Romney’s former private equity firm moved American jobs to China and India to cut costs. In a parting shot, a narrator says Romney is ‘‘not the solution. He’s the problem.’’
The ad follows Obama’s two-day bus tour in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where the president announced plans to file a trade complaint against China at the World Trade Organization for unfairly imposing duties on the exports of US-produced automobiles. Ohio is home to several auto plants and tens of thousands of workers directly employed by the auto industry.
China remains a flashpoint in the presidential campaign.
Romney has accused Obama of failing to live up to promises to get tough on the economic powerhouse, saying he would label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office and fight the theft of intellectual property and job losses.
Obama’s administration says it has taken a broad effort to crack down on what it calls unfair Chinese trading practices, filing seven trade cases with the WTO against Beijing.
The 30-second spot opens with a clip of Romney during a 2011 Republican primary debate. He says ‘‘the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future. And I am not willing to let that happen.’’
A narrator responds that Romney ‘‘made a fortune letting it happen.’’
The Obama ad refers to the Post account about the role Romney’s firm played with companies that were ‘‘pioneers’’ in helping outsource jobs. It pointed to one business that said it was a ‘‘one-stop shop for their outsource requirements.’’
‘‘Mitt Romney’s not the solution. He’s the problem,’’ the narrator says.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said it was ‘‘no surprise President Obama would want to distract Americans from the devastating June jobs numbers, but the American people deserve better than dishonest ads.’’
The accusations over China come against the backdrop of a sluggish economy. The June jobs report released Friday found that the economy added only 80,000 jobs during the month and unemployment stayed at 8.2 percent, fueling Romney’s charges that Obama has failed to guide the economy out of the recession.
Romney, who was vacationing in Wolfeboro, N.H., last week, said Friday the new jobs numbers showed that Obama, in 3½ years on the job, had “not gotten America working again. . . . And the president is going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it.’’
The Obama spot is part of a $25 million ad buy in July and will run in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada.
President urges Congress to do more for economy
President Obama said Saturday that legislation to keep transportation projects going and prevent interest rates from doubling on new loans to college students will help many Americans. But he said, ‘‘we’ve got more to do.’’
Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address that the measure he signed into law Friday will keep thousands of construction workers on the job and help students and their families. But he says Congress should do more to promote infrastructure and reform and expand financial aid offered to students.
In the Republican address, Representative Ann Marie Buerkle of New York said Obama’s policies are ‘‘making things worse, starting with his health care law.’’
She said the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law adds urgency to repealing the health care overhaul.