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Good timing for the speech today in Ohio.  

GENEVA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington won a major victory in an election-year dispute against China on Monday when a WTO ruling found China had discriminated against U.S. bank card suppliers in favor of a state-owned enterprise that enjoys an illegal monopoly.

The decision by a World Trade Organization dispute panel said Beijing was breaking WTO rules by requiring all yuan-denominated payment cards issued in China to work with the network belonging to China UnionPay (CUP), as well as requiring every merchant and ATM to accept CUP's cards.

With CUP enjoying a monopoly, firms such as Visa Inc , Mastercard Inc and American Express were restricted to foreign currency transactions.

The ruling is open to appeal and unless China manages to overturn it, the country will have to change its rules to give foreign companies equal access to Chinese firms, effectively breaking CUP's monopoly.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the ruling a "win" that showed "our determination to go after China's efforts to distort global trade rules".

"That is precisely why 3.5 years into the president's first term we have doubled the rate of WTO cases against China, versus the prior administration," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.


This means a few more jobs:

US Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk said the victory in the World Trade Organization dispute would allow US companies to compete on a level playing field with China's own company, China Union Pay, which has dominated the EPS market.

"The WTO panel agrees that China's pervasive and discriminatory measures deny a level playing field to American service providers, which are world leaders in this sector," Kirk said.

"This decision will help US companies and increase American jobs as a more efficient credit and debit payment system in China enables consumers to buy more goods, including quality, made-in-America products," he said.

According to industry estimates, the United States will gain 6,000 jobs related to electronic payment services, the Obama administration said.

US Hails WTO Win Vrs. China

It all adds up.  Does anyone really think Romney would do the same?

Romney talks tough about China, but his wealth was built in part on outsourcing jobs to China and other nations.  President Obama acts.



     Before I turn it over to Jen to give a topper, I just wanted to mention that today the World Trade Organization is announcing another clear win for the United States in a trade dispute with China -- this time over so-called “electronic payment systems” like credit and debit cards.

     The Obama administration launched this case in 2010.  Today’s win highlights that tackling unfair Chinese trade practices has been a priority of this President throughout his term in office.  That is precisely why 3.5 years into the President’s first term we have doubled the rate of WTO cases against China versus the prior administration.


MR. CARNEY:  Well, the President feels very strongly that taking action to ensure that American companies and American workers are able to compete on a level playing field with China and other countries is something that resonates across the country with Americans.

     This particular announcement that I brought up at the top of the briefing was made by the WTO.  It has nothing -- the timing is not ours, but it is newsworthy today.  And this relates to one of the six prior cases that the United States has filed at the WTO against China under President Obama.  The other action that you referenced refers to the seventh new initiative that this administration has filed at the WTO against China.

Gaggle by Press Secretary Jay Carney, en route to Ohio, July 16, 2012

Good timing for today.  

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