Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Obama warns China against 'skirting the rules'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama warned China Tuesday that it would not be allowed to gain a competitive advantage in world trade by "skirting the rules."

Making an election-year pitch to American workers, and businesses as well, Obama announced Washington has brought a new trade case against Beijing. The goal is to pressure China, a rising Asian economic power, to end its restrictions on exports of key materials used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat screen televisions and other high tech-goods.

"If China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objection," Obama said during remarks at the White House. "But their policies currently are preventing that from happening. And they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow."

The U.S., working in conjunction with the European Union and Japan, asked the World Trade Organization Tuesday to facilitate talks with China over its curtailment of exports of what's known as rare earth minerals. Obama cast the fresh action against China as part of a broader push to level the playing field for U.S. companies. Read More