Ryan: Obama soft on 'cheating' China, which is hurting U.S. manufacturing

Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan told Ohio voters Saturday that China’s unfair trade and currency practices are hurting the U.S. manufacturing sector and vowed that if elected he and Mitt Romney would “hold cheaters accountable.”

Ryan, R-Wis., made his pitch one day after the Obama administration announced it would delay a decision due Monday on whether to declare that China is manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages.

“The administration had its eighth chance to label China a currency manipulator,” Ryan said during a rally at Youngstown State University. “And they’ve indicated they are going to push this deadline off until after the election. That’s eight opportunities to say: ‘You know what, play fair with us, trade with us fairly.’ ”

The report examines the foreign exchange practices for major U.S. trading partners and has previously cited China for failing to allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly.

The Treasury Department now says the decision will come after finance ministers and central bank presidents meet Nov. 4 -5 in Mexico City.

The agency said the delay would allow the administration to "assess progress" following the discussions of officials in the Group of 20 nations, which includes China.

Romney has already attacked the administration for not targeting China for unfair trade practices and is expected to renew the attack during an economic speech next week.

Ryan on Saturday also told potential voters in Ohio – a hub of U.S. manufacturing and rich in mineral resources – that China is hurting the middle class and a vital part of the U.S. economic by stealing secrets to make then sell less expensive goods in the global market.

“We need a strong manufacturing base in American if we want a strong middle class in America,” Ryan said.

Romney and Ryan arrived in Ohio on Friday and will make several appearances this weekend, trying to win a crucial battleground state in the closing weeks of the election cycle.

Ryan in the late morning visited St. Michael's Church of Canfield, Ohio, a catholic charity, where he talked to some homeless people and washed some pots and pans that earlier provided food for the needy.

Romney is scheduled this afternoon to attend a rally with country music artist Jamie O’Neal at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, then a late afternoon rally in Lebanon, Ohio. He's spent nearly four hours in the morning preparing for his second debate with President Obama.

While on the Youngstown campus, Ryan also cited an International Trade Commission report showing the U.S. has lost 2 million jobs as a result of China taking intellectual property rights.

“Taking our patents, taking our goods that we make and copying them and selling them -- that’s not correct, that’s not right, that’s cheating,” he said.

Ryan was also critical of Washington Republicans and Democrats alike for allowing the federal deficit to reach $16 trillion with 48 percent of the debt being owned by other countries, with China at the top.

“This compromises our sovereignty,” he said.