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World Map / Upcoming Elections / US Presidential election 2016 / US Election Updates / Obama and Romney clash over China trade practices

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US Election Updates - September 18, 2012

Obama and Romney clash over China trade practices

President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney squared off over trade relations with China while on the campaign trail on Monday.

Obama lodged a World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint against China earlier in the day, accusing the Asian powerhouse of illegally subsidizing car exports.

With less than two months to go until the November 6 elections, Obama's move is seen to be politically motivated.

Obama discussed the WTO action against China later in the day as he visited Ohio, a swing state which has more than 50,000 workers employed in the car industry.

Speaking to supporters in Cincinnati, Obama said: "Today, my administration is launching new action against China, this one against illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto-parts manufacturing jobs overseas.

"Those subsidies directly harm working men and women on the assembly line in Ohio and Michigan and across the Midwest. It's not right; it's against the rules; and we will not let it stand."

In retaliation, Romney, who has repeatedly accused Obama of being too soft on China, said: "Campaign-season trade cases may sound good on the stump, but it is too little, too late for American businesses and middle-class families…President Obama's credibility on this issue has long since vanished."

Ohio is a battleground state for both candidates. Obama, who is marginally ahead of Romney in opinion polls, has visited the state 12 times this year.

Early voting in the state commences on October 2 and the Obama team is looking to get its supporters to the polls early.

Early voting formed a large part of Obama's success in 2008. Nearly a quarter of the 133 million people who voted that year had cast their ballots before election day.

According to previous polls, Democratic voters across several swing states are more likely than Republicans to vote ahead of time.

Obama won Ohio in 2008, beating Republican John McCain in the cities of Cincinnati and Columbus.