House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi promoted the Democrats' "Make it in America" agenda Wednesday with a warning for China: To maintain good trade relations with the United States, she said, you'd better "play by the rules."
" 'Make it in America' means a thriving industrial, technological, and manufacturing base in our country as the cornerstone of a growing economy," the California Democrat said at a Washington conference of the United Auto Workers.
It also means "insisting that if China, and other nations, want a strong trading relationship with the United States, they must play by the rules," she added.
Her comments came just hours before President Obama welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House for a highly anticipated visit featuring potentially thorny discussions on trade relations and human rights.
China has come under fire from many Washington lawmakers over allegations of currency manipulation and copyright piracy — policies the critics say lend China an unfair advantage in the game of international trade.
“In an interconnected world, in a global economy, nations — including our own — will be more prosperous and more secure when we work together,” Obama said at the outset of Wednesday's visit.
House Democratic leaders have been pushing their "Make it in America" platform for several years, but are highlighting it even more intensely as the minority party in the new Congress. The agenda features a host of legislative proposals designed to incentivize domestic business investment and stem the flow of jobs overseas.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House minority whip, told reporters Tuesday that the "Make it in America" agenda will be one of three central concentrations of House Democrats in the 112th Congress. The others will be comprehensive tax reform and fiscal discipline, he said.