President Obama and Mitt Romney heaped criticism on China during the presidential campaign, with the Republican candidate advocating an especially aggressive policy stance toward Beijing.
Romney pledged to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. And if Beijing did not immediately move to float its currency, Romney said he would slap countervailing duties on Chinese exports to the U.S.
Obama was more measured in his criticism, but still quick to point out China trade cases brought by his administration.
On Tuesday, the American electorate gave Obama a second term, elected Democrats to a majority in the Senate and stuck with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. In other words -- the balance of power changed very little.
That sense of continuity should extend to Washington's relationship with Beijing. China's foreign ministry said Wednesday that Chinese President Hu Jintao had offered his congratulations to Obama, and stressed the need for cooperation that will benefit the people of both countries.
According to analysts at Nomura, Romney's defeat should reduce the risk of China pushing its currency into depreciation in retaliation for aggressive trade tactics.
"Although Obama and the U.S. Treasury will continue to press China for greater [currency] liberalization and appreciation, the pressure is likely to be more diplomatic," the analysts said.
Still, much about the relationship remains in flux. Just weeks before Election Day, the U.S. Treasury delayed the release of a report that has in the past criticized China for keeping the value of its currency artificially low. That report must be addressed in coming months -- although it is not yet known who will replace Sec. Tim Geithner at the agency's top post.
And China is about to appoint its own new leadership. The transition will set a new cast for the powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party -- a small group of officials who will wield tremendous power over China's tightly-controlled economy for years to come.
"I think people here now hope Obama can become more constructive in his relationship with China," Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai, told CNN on Wednesday. "There was a lot of happiness with Obama when he was [first] elected, but people now feel he hasn't focused on China in the right way."
The Romney-Ryan camp is trying to discredit the falling unemployment rate, claiming it's due mainly to workers dropping out of the labor force. But Obama administration official Gene Sperling shot back Tuesday: "That just ain't so."
Sperling, who heads the White House's National Economic Council, pointed to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% last month, down from 9.0% a year earlier. Most MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - Oct 16, 2012 4:02 PM ET
To the investors on Intrade, there was little question who came away from Wednesday night's presidential debate on top: Mitt Romney.
Intrade is a prediction market that allows investors to wager on the outcome of events. In this case: the presidential election. (Watch video: The debate in 99 seconds)
Earlier this week, the site's users placed the odds that President Obama would win re-election as high as 79%. Just before the debate MORECharles Riley - Oct 4, 2012 10:01 AM ET
Despite a wave of disappointing economic reports, President Obama is still likely to top Mitt Romney on Election Day, according to the latest forecast from Moody's Analytics.
According to the model, which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data, Obama is on track to capture 303 electoral votes. (270 are required for victory.)
Moody's is predicting that Obama will win several important battleground states, including Virginia, Colorado and MORECharles Riley - Oct 2, 2012 8:24 AM ET
President Obama's re-election chances rose in July on stronger employment data, according to an election forecasting model created by Moody's Analytics.
The group's model -- which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data -- currently predicts that Obama will capture 303 electoral votes and another term.
Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, is projected to win 25 states and 235 electoral votes. Romney's chances had improved in recent MORECharles Riley - Aug 23, 2012 12:14 PM ET
Mitt Romney is gaining ground in key swing states, according to the latest election forecast from Moody's Analytics.
The group's model -- which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data -- shows that Romney's chances improved last month in seven of the 10 swing states that Moody's currently forecasts will be won by President Obama in November.
But Romney's positive momentum was not enough to change any MORECharles Riley - Jul 26, 2012 2:08 PM ET
Mitt Romney brushed aside a bubbling controversy over his offshore financial holdings on Tuesday, saying that his assets are held in a blind trust and that he doesn't "even know where they are."
"There is nothing hidden there," Romney said during a radio interview, noting that all taxes have been paid.
The Associated Press reported last week that Romney, who is worth an estimated $84 – $264 million, did not disclose in MORECharles Riley - Jul 10, 2012 12:54 PM ET
President Obama is still on track for an electoral victory this November, according to a forecasting model produced by Moody's Analytics.
But his advantage over Mitt Romney is narrowing. According to the model, which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data, Obama is on track to capture 303 electoral votes.
That's more than the 270 required for victory, but if economic growth slows further, the model could MORECharles Riley - Jun 29, 2012 5:00 AM ET
One of the most strident criticisms of Mitt Romney's economic plan -- even among conservatives -- is the lack of detail on how he will support the revenue side of the government's ledger while pushing through massive tax cuts.
Romney wants to cut marginal tax rates on income by 20%. He wants to eliminate the estate tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. And he wants to cut the corporate tax rate MORECharles Riley - Jun 18, 2012 11:06 AM ET
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was asked Tuesday whether he would accept a salary as president, or refuse compensation in the name of deficit reduction.
The chief executive's salary is nothing to scoff at -- $400,000 a year -- but it amounts to loose change compared to the $1 trillion-plus annual federal deficit.
Yet as a symbolic gesture, not drawing a salary might carry significant weight. Romney did something similar as governor of MORECharles Riley - Jun 12, 2012 12:52 PM ET
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