Republican Mitt Romney has talked about taking on China — making the nation “play by the rules” in international trade — in his premier general-election TV ads.
His policy director, Lanhee Chen, today tells Bloomberg News’s Al Hunt that the Republican’s call for confronting China as a currency manipulator, intellectual property thief and trade cheat are what distinguishes his economic vision from Republican orthodoxy.
“Here’s a place where Governor Romney is really calling for a different approach, for example, confronting China on their currency manipulation, on their intellectual property stealing, on the barriers they put up really to competition from foreign firms,” Chen said in an interview airing this weekend on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt.”
`This is really a path forward that will be quite different from” policies under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush,” Chen said.
Also in this interview:
— Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, doesn’t intend to offer targeted relief for the 11.5 million American homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, Chen said, suggesting that such actions are temporary fixes insufficient to stabilize the housing market.
— “Governor Romney has indicated that there are some steps we ought to take to ensure that we’re growing our economy,” Chen said. “But on the housing market specifically, I do think we have to resist the temptation for short-term approaches.”
— Romney, a former private-equity executive who founded the Boston-based firm Bain Capital LLC, wants to replace the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law enacted in 2010 with more limited and “reasonable” rules, including governing derivatives and “some kind of consumer protections,” Chen said.
“The mistake here is to say that somehow because we repealed Dodd-Frank and we get rid of the really burdensome set of regulations that Dodd-Frank put in place, that somehow we’re going back to a dog-eat-dog kind of situation where there’s absolutely no regulation,” Chen said.
— While Romney has spoken extensively of a broad tax overhaul plan that would eliminate certain deductions and exemptions and lower rates, he is unlikely to specify during the presidential campaign which ones he would seek to undo, Chen said.
“There are a number of specific ways to get there,” he said. Romney “is going to get in there as president and work with the Congress to figure out how we can achieve a broader base of taxation and lower rates across the board.”