Obama questions China car subsidies
CHINA'S NO HELP: China's auto subsidies put US automakers at a disadvantage, the US president is expected to argue when he requests a World Trade Organisation enforcement order, it has been reported.
WASHINGTON, US - US president Barack Obama will launch a WTO enforcement action against Chinese auto subsidies on Monday, countering his Republican foe Mitt Romney's accusations that he is too timid towards Beijing.
Obama will leverage the political power of his office when he makes the announcement in swing state Ohio and argue that Chinese practices in the auto sector put US automakers at a disadvantage, a White House official said.
OBAMA HAS AUTO HISTORY
"The Obama administration is launching an enforcement action against China at the World Trade Organisation for illegally subsidising exports in their autos and auto-parts sectors," a White House official said.
The official added, on condition of anonymity, that China's actions "were putting US auto parts manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and that is encouraging the outsourcing of auto-parts production to China".
The announcement will be seen as highly political as Ohio is a critical state in the November 6 election and the home for large numbers of workers in the auto industry and related auto parts sector.
Obama repeatedly touts his decision to offer the sickly US auto industry a government bailout in 2009 - which Romney opposed - as his campaign seeks to capture a state which is vital to the Republican's White House hopes.
The announcement represents something of a political trump card, following days of sparring between the two campaigns over the challenge posed by China's rise as an economic power, and the threat it has posed to the US economy.