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Ryan says China has been treating Obama like a 'doormat' on trade

Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate, was speaking in North Canton, Ohio, on Thursday.

"We also need trade that works for us. We come from manufacturing states. We make things, we grow things," Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, said Thursday. "They [China] steal our intellectual property rights. They block access to their markets, they manipulate their currency.

"President Obama promised he would stop these practices. He said he would go to the mat with China," the Wisconsin lawmaker continued. "Instead, they're treating him like a doormat. We're not going to let that happen. Mitt Romney and I are going to crack down on China cheating."

In early July during a campaign event in Ohio, Obama called attention to a World Trade Organization lawsuit against China over duties on U.S. auto imports that, Obama contended, break international trade law. That same day the Obama administration said it planned to ask China to begin settlement negotiations over the auto taxes.

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The administration's efforts are meant to illustrate a tough stance on trade with China, the largest single holder of U.S. government debt. The Romney campaign has accused Obama of being too lenient on China. Mitt Romney himself has said, if elected president, that one of his first actions would be to uncover evidence of currency manipulation by China for economic gain.

Ryan and the Romney campaign are making an effort to attack the Obama administration on foreign policy as well as the economy.

Romney recently made an overseas trip to a number of countries, including Poland and Israel, meant to boost his foreign-policy credentials. That trip, however, was eclipsed by a number of missteps from the campaign including, at one point, a Romney aide using strong language in response to a reporter asking about Romney's availability to answer questions during the trip. 

— Updated at 12:06 p.m.