Obama sets up trade crackdown office

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama announced Tuesday the creation of a new enforcement office to challenge what he called unfair trade practices in China and other countries around the world.

“American workers are the best workers on Earth, and when the playing field is level, I promise you, America will always win,” Obama said Tuesday during an appearance at the United Auto Workers convention.

Obama signed an executive order earlier Tuesday establishing the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center.

The White House said the office will expand the administration’s ability to challenge unfair trading practices in China and elsewhere. The new office will coordinate enforcement activity across several U.S. government agencies.

Obama has accused China of subsidizing homegrown companies and allowing counterfeiting and intellectual piracy. The president’s most recent budget proposal asks Congress for millions of dollars for the new enforcement center and more U.S. inspectors in China.