Washington: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney clashed over outsourcing with the Republican challenger vowing to get tough with China and the president suggesting that his rival's plans would create jobs, but in China or India or Germany.
Asked about their respective plans to put back and keep jobs lost to outsourcing in the US during Tuesday night's pivotal second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York, Romney placed the blame squarely at China's door.
"The place where we've seen manufacturing go has been China. China is now the largest manufacturer in the world," he said noting half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the last four years.
Calling China "a currency manipulator for years and years and years", Romney said: "On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator" in order "to make sure that people we trade with around the world play by the rules".
And to "make America the most attractive place in the world for businesses of all kinds," Romney said he wanted to reduce "the tax rates on small employers, big employers, so they want to be here".
Obama, in turn maintained that while he wanted "to close loopholes that allow companies to deduct expenses when they move to China" his rival "actually wants to expand those tax breaks".
"And it's estimated that that will create 800,000 new jobs," the president said. "The problem is they'll be in China. Or India. Or Germany."
"That's not the way we're going to create jobs here. The way we're going to create jobs here is not just to change our tax code, but also to double our exports," he said.