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Unrest in Middle East: What would President Romney do? (+video)

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If there’s one foreign issue Romney has talked of most, it’s probably China. He’s long criticized China as a country that steals American technology and unfairly steals American jobs by manipulating its currency, ensuring that its goods remain cheap in the US.

As it happens, the Romney campaign just released an ad on China and manufacturing jobs, charging that Obama hasn’t stood up to Beijing’s “cheating.”

Romney has long said he’d label China a currency manipulator on Day 1 of his presidency. But beyond that, it’s unclear what he’d do. Like George Bush before him, Obama has declined to label China a currency cheat in the Treasury Department’s semiannual report on international exchange-rate policies. Doing so would only anger China without changing anything, they say.

As to the Middle East, this week’s flap has led to Romney advisers providing a bit more detail about his prospective foreign policy. In interviews with The New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets, they’ve said he would:

  • Tell Iran it can’t have nuclear weapons, and set a “red line” for nuclear technology development beyond which Tehran can’t go without risking unspecified consequences.
  • Tell Egypt it has to do a better job protecting Americans if they want the US to follow through with $1 billion in debt forgiveness.
  • Provide more help to the Syrian opposition, perhaps by facilitating the transfer of arms from other neighboring Arab states.
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