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U.S. needs to rethink how to partner China (3)

By Liu Jie (Xinhua)

16:20, October 23, 2012

As the world's sole superpower, the United States is the main architect of global rules in arenas ranging from trade to military. It can file cases to the World Trade Organization whenever it finds the situation escaping its control. It can also block emerging Chinese companies with the excuse of threatening national security based on groundless accusations.

One thing that Obama should bear in mind is never to use out-of-context results to defend his record in addressing trade with China. He said tariffs against Chinese tires created U.S. jobs, but he omitted other chain effects which are not that pleasant: U.S. consumers paid 1.1 billion U.S. dollars more for tires because of the move, according to a report released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Meanwhile, although U.S. tire imports from China declined by nearly 23.6 percent in 2010 from 2009, overall imports jumped by more than 20.2 percent, a fact that does not exactly bode well for American jobs.

Romney, who has been unusually truculent toward China, seemingly decided his stance in the first two debates was too aggressive, toning things down a little in the final round and dismissing suggestions that he would start a trade war with China.

It seems, fortunately, that the China-bashing game has not spun out of control, as the billionaire who used to profit handsomely from doing business with China knows that the largest and second-largest economies in the world, trade between which equals nearly a half-trillion dollars, could not afford the backlash of tit-for-tat tariffs and eventually all-out economic war.

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