US President Barack Obama has created a new body to investigate and challenge unfair trading practices by countries like China. Meanwhile, in other US news, Republican contender Mitt Romney has pulled off a crucial double win in the Michigan and Arizona primaries.
Interagency Trade Enforcement Center
On Tuesday, Mr Obama signed an executive order setting up the new Interagency Trade Enforcement Center. Established under the office of the US Trade Representative, the new body will bring together lawyers, researchers, analysts and government agents to monitor and enforce trade agreements and laws. It will open within 90 days.
“We are doubling down on the administration’s commitment to strong trade enforcement,” US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a media briefing. “We’ll continue to press our trading partners" to comply with World Trade Organization rules “and abide by obligations.”
In Mr Obama's latest budget for US government spending, unveiled two weeks ago, he asked for at least 50 people and US$26 million in funding for the new center.
Report: Obama Creates Trade Enforcement Unit Aimed at China’s Violations [Bloomberg, 29 Feb 2012]
Report: Obama sets up trade crackdown office [CBS, 28 Feb 2012]
US Elections: Romney Wins Michigan and Arizona
US Republican White House contender Mitt Romney has won the Michigan and Arizona primaries. In Arizona, he leads with 47 percent of votes, and currently heads Rick Santorum in Michigan by 41 percent to 38 percent with nearly all votes counted.
Michigan was seen as vital for Mr Romney. He was born in the state and his father was once governor, but he had struggled to win over conservative voters.
Report: Mitt Romney heads to wins in Arizona and Michigan [BBC, 29 Feb 2012]