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PacNet #5 – Congress and Obama’s China Policy, More Bark than Bite

The 112th Congress will complete its term in 2012 marked by strong opposition to policies of President Barack Obama on government debt, budget cuts, health care, and other issues. Adding to congressional-executive gridlock has been an upswing in congressional criticism of China’s policies, resulting in legislation in the Senate and the House challenging the administration’s efforts to sustain moderate policies toward China over currency manipulation, trade disputes, and arms sales and other support for Taiwan. The congressional activism feeds into the echo chamber of often strident anti-China rhetoric by many candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination.