President Barack Obama speaks at a town-hall style rally in Cincinnati (Susan Walsh/AP)
President Barack Obama blasted Mitt Romney's economic plan during a stop in the pivotal swing state of Ohio on Monday, saying the blueprint would create 800,000 jobs—just not in America.
"Today, we found out, there's a new study out by a nonpartisan economist that says Gov. Romney's economic plan would in fact create 800,000 jobs," Obama said at a town hall-style event in Cincinnati. "There's only one problem. The jobs wouldn't be in America."
"They would not be in America. They'd be in other countries. By eliminating taxes on corporations' foreign income, Gov. Romney's plan would actually encourage companies to shift more of their operations to foreign tax havens, creating 800,000 jobs in those other countries," the president added.
"This shouldn't be a surprise because Gov. Romney's experience has been investing in what were called pioneers of the business of outsourcing," Obama said, reprising one of his core arguments against the Republican standard-bearer. The president has been assailing Romney over allegedly encouraging businesses to ship jobs overseas.
Obama was referring to a study of Romney's proposals in the Tax Notes newsletter by Reed College economist Kimberly Clausing. But conservatives quickly pointed reporters to data showing that Clausing has given $492 to Obama's re-election effort. And ABC News reported that:
Romney is far from alone in endorsing a territorial tax system, which would allow the profits made by an American corporation in another country to escape U.S. taxation. In fact, a number of advisers to the president support the idea as well — including members of the President's Export Council, the commission the president set up to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, and members of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign highlighted a victory against China at the World Trade Organization. Even before Obama touched down in Ohio, the White House trumpeted a new WTO ruling against China as a victory for his get-tough approach to unfair competition.
"Today's win shows our determination to go after China's efforts to distort global trade rules," said press secretary Jay Carney. "And it will benefit jobs and companies here at home.
"The president feels very strongly that taking action to ensure that American companies and American workers are able to compete on a level playing field with China and other countries is something that resonates across the country with Americans," Carney said. "The timing is not ours, but it is newsworthy today."
China is a perennial election-year punching bag—especially in Rust Belt battlegrounds like Ohio, where many blame what they consider Beijing's unfair trade practices for the loss of manufacturing jobs. Romney frequently accuses Obama of doing too little to take on China over its alleged cheating in global trade. The issue resonates powerfully in Ohio, whose Democratic and Republican senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, have frequently pushed the administration to take a harder line on Beijing.
When Obama visited Ohio earlier this month, his administration unveiled WTO action against Chinese duties on American-made cars and SUVs, including some made in the Buckeye State.
This time, a WTO dispute panel agreed with the Obama administration that China discriminates against American credit card companies and in favor of its state-owned China Union Pay.
"This decision will help U.S. companies and increase American jobs as a more efficient credit and debit payment system in China enables consumers to buy more goods, including quality, made-in-America products," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement heralding the decision. The USTR cited industry estimates that the economy could gain 6,000 jobs.