Reality's Liberal Bias: US Manufacturing Expands While China Contracts

I am beginning to suspect that math has a liberal bias. While Mitt Romney is very busy lying to the American people about the President's stellar record of standing up to China, the facts and numbers are rudely intruding, yet again. Last month, US manufacturing returned to expansive territory, while Chinese manufacturing continued contraction. The good news for the American economy (aka horrible news for the Romney campaign) comes from that liberal bastion, Wall Street Journal:
The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its purchasing managers' index—a gauge of the factory sector—rose to 51.5 in September from 49.6 in August. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. U.S. stock markets moved higher after the release. [...]

Good news within the U.S. ISM survey was the rebound in demand. The new-orders index rose to 52.3 from 47.1 in August. The exports index edged up to 48.5 from 47.0.

The production index continued to shrink, although it improved to 49.5 from 47.2. The employment index rose to 54.7 from 51.6.
In the mean time...
Meanwhile, according to an official measure released earlier China continued to be in contractionary territory. Europe continues to struggle, with the euro zone still shrinking, though at a slower pace than August. Individual members France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain were all contracting.
So where is the growth coming from?
Brad Holcomb, who heads the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing survey, said the pickup in U.S. factory activity last month appeared to stem from demand for cars and a slight turnaround in the housing industry. Companies tied to those industries—such as auto-parts suppliers and furniture makers—drove the growth, Mr. Holcomb said.
Hmm... cars, cars... what the hell happened with the auto industry right around the time President Obama was coming into the office again? Oh, right. Mitt Romney was yapping about how we should let the American auto industry go under (given no private capital - including that of Bain Capital - was available) while President Obama chose to bet on the American worker, against the advice of many in his own administration who were afraid of the political fallout from a potential failure of the auto rescue.

But the auto industry didn't fail. The President's bet on the American worker, it seems, paid off a lot better for the American people than Mitt Romney's $10,000-bets for show. Not only did the President almost single-handedly (at least when it comes to the government side of things) turn around the American auto industry, no president has been tougher on China's unfair trade than President Obama. Let's talk about auto parts - a big part of what is helping shore up American manufacturing. In September 2009, Barack Obama fought back against unfair trade practices from China by imposing a 35% tariff on tires imported from China. Mitt Romney described the move as "bad for our nation and our workers" in his own book, No Apologies.

And here are just some of the Obama administration successes in challenging China's manipulation:
  • June 2009 – The United States and several other WTO members filed a WTO dispute against China challenging its export restraints on raw materials. Both the Panel and the Appellate Body upheld the majority of the U.S. claims, finding China’s measures to be inconsistent with its WTO commitments.
  • December 2010 – Following a Section 301 investigation based on a petition filed by the United Steelworkers, the United States initiated a WTO case challenging subsidies that China provided to manufacturers in its wind power equipment sector that appeared to require the use of local content, at the expense of foreign manufacturers’ products. In response to our challenge, China terminated the challenged subsidy program.
  • September 2010 – The United States filed a WTO dispute challenging a series of Chinese measures that discriminate against foreign providers of electronic payment services. On July 16, 2012, the WTO circulated the Panel’s final report. The Panel found in favor of the United States regarding most of the challenged measures, whether based on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) national treatment claims or the GATS market access claims.
  • September 2010 - The United States filed a WTO dispute challenging China’s imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel. On June 15, 2012, the WTO circulated the Panel’s final report. The Panel ruled in favor of the United States, finding most of the challenged measures inconsistent with China’s WTO commitments. On 20 July 2012, China notified the WTO of its decision to appeal to the Appellate Body certain issues of law and legal interpretations covered in the panel report.
This is not even counting the pending cases, including one filed two weeks ago. The Obama Administration has by far been the most zealous in history in protecting the interest of American worker and fair trade.

This week is debate week. Yet, all I keep seeing on television screens is which candidate has to do what, who is a more skilled debater stylistically, and who has to put whom on the spot. Shouldn't we be using debate week instead to actually debate the policies each candidate would pursue? The debate in this election won't just be happening on a stage on Wednesday night. The debate is about the future of our country - and that debate needs to happen everywhere. And that debate needs to be shaped by facts, not blitz.

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