Romney Hits Obama on Chinese Piracy

Mitt Romney is furthering his hardline rhetoric on China this week in speeches and a campaign ad that hit President Obama for failing to do more to “stand up” to the Beijing government, including on piracy.

In addition to China’s currency manipulation, the Romney ad says that China is “stealing American ideas and technology,” and that Obama’s policies “have cost us two million jobs.”

The 2 million jobs figure actually comes from an International Trade Commission estimate of jobs that could be created if China enforced intellectual property laws.

“They steal intellectual property,” Romney said in a speech on Tuesday. “What do I mean by that? Patents, designs, know-how, even counterfeit our goods….We can’t compete with people who don’t play fair, and I won’t let that do on. I will stop it in its tracks.”

Last week, Romney said that China’s “theft of intellectual property has cost us more than two million jobs. And again, President Obama failed to protect those rights. It’s bad enough that he won’t stand up for companies and workers that are cheated by China. What’s even worse is that his policies are making America less competitive.’

Romney’s line of attack actually has shades of many in show biz who have urged greater action on piracy: They can’t compete with free. But the Obama campaign today unveiled a new web video that targets Romney investments in Chinese firms.

“China is stealing American ideas and technology.’ That’s what’s what
Mitt Romney says in his campaign, but when it comes to making money
those Chinese companies suit him just fine,” says a narrator in the
video, per The Hill. “Romney invested in China’s version of YouTube, a haven for
stealing American videos, and Romney’s even invested in a Chinese
electronics company being sued by Microsoft for pirating its software.”

FactCheck.org challenges Romney’s 2 million jobs lost claim, and has yet to issue a story on the latest Obama web video. But this is one of the few moments when piracy has, however abstract, been cited in a national campaign.

Most of the studio chiefs support Obama’s campaign, and MPAA chairman Chris Dodd, obviously an Obama supporter, dismissed Romney’s Chinese rhetoric earlier this month. “In campaign season it has become almost routine for certain politicians
to want to bang that drum so to speak,” Dodd said. “So I don’t think, I dont put
great value in a a line at a political convention. A shot at China has
been pretty standard fare.”

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