President Barack Obama will launch a new trade enforcement case against China Monday, using the power of incumbency to counter Republican Mitt Romney's criticism that he is ceding American jobs to the Asian power.
Senior administration officials said the president will announce the new case, targeting Chinese subsidies for exports of automobiles and automobile parts, Monday during a campaign trip to Ohio. The swing state has a large manufacturing base where many blame China for depressing its industry.
The administration is taking the issue to the WTO because its attempts to get China to address the subsidies on its own have been unsuccessful, the officials said.
Jobs in the U.S. auto parts sector dropped by roughly half between 2001 and 2010, while U.S. imports of auto parts from China have increased seven-fold, according to the Obama administration.
The administration is also escalating another case it brought against China at the WTO in July that accuses China of imposing unfair duties on more than $3 billion in exports of U.S. autos. The duties cover more than 80 percent of American auto exports to China, said the officials.