President Barack Obama will announce a trade complaint against China during a campaign stop in Ohio today, Reuters reported.
His administration will complain to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about Chinese subsides for automotive exports, a policy that undermines American automotive manufacturers’ competitiveness overseas.
The subsidies are not new: The administration’s case “accuses China of providing at least $1 billion worth of subsidies from 2009 to 2011 for exports of autos and auto parts,” reported the New York Times.
Ohio, an important swing state in this year’s presidential election, relies heavily on the automotive industry. The automotive sector comprises about 12.4 percent of Ohio’s employment, with the auto-parts industry directly creating 54,200 jobs.
Obama’s announcement comes on the heels of an anemic job growth report.
The president has trumpeted his bailout of the automotive industry during the campaign.
China has launched a counter-complaint in the WTO for a U.S. duty on subsidized Chinese goods.
The U.S. announced a “pivot” in foreign policy emphasis toward the Pacific last year. It is unclear how this trade spat will affect Sino-American relations.