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Obama to Announce WTO Complaint Against China While in Ohio

President Barack Obama will kick off his two-day bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania today by telling voters in the heavily industrial region that his administration is filing an unfair trade complaint against some of China’s new duties on American-made cars, the White House said.

The U.S. is filing the case today with the World Trade Organization in Geneva, according to a White House fact sheet. The administration is accusing China of imposing unfair duties on $3.3 billion in U.S. auto exports, the fact sheet said.

The president’s action was earlier reported by The Blade in Toledo, Ohio. The city is home to a plant that manufactures the Jeep Wrangler, owned by Chrysler Group LLC, one of the auto companies that the administration says is being disproportionately hit by the Chinese duties, which were imposed in December.

The message fits with the president’s theme that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney would have let the auto industry go bankrupt while he saved General Motors Co. and Chrysler through a taxpayer rescue of the auto industry in 2009.

Today Obama starts a two-day “Betting on America” bus tour designed to draw a contrast with Romney, a former private-equity executive who invested overseas.

Polls show that linking Romney to the outsourcing of U.S. jobs when he was at Boston-based Bain Capital LLC, which he co-founded, is an effective approach with voters in the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, where Obama will end the trip.

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