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Romney falsely claims Jeep is shipping jobs to China

In his latest attempt to distort President Obama’s consistent record of successfully betting on the American worker, Mitt Romney shamelessly tried to scare voters into thinking that Jeep is moving production to China and taking American jobs with it. The claim is blatantly false: As Chrysler made clear, “Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.”

Here’s what Romney said:

“I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it’s fair, America will win.”

And here are the facts:

Chrysler has no intention to shift Jeep production from North America to China. As the company made clear, “a careful and unbiased” understanding of its clearly-stated business plans “would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” In an effort to score cheap political points, Romney is deliberately distorting a Bloomberg News article that reported that, while it may consider expanding into China, Chrysler is not shifting any output from North America to China.

If Romney read the article, he’d know it reports that “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio,” and Mike Manley, the President and CEO of the Jeep brand, was referring to “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.” As Chrysler noted in a blog post, fooling Americans into thinking that it plans to shift all Jeep production to China and cut U.S. jobs requires a leap that would be “difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”

And not only will Jeep assembly lines continue to stay in operation, Chrysler is actually expanding U.S. production. The company’s assembly plant in Toledo, OH, for example, supports nearly 2,000 jobs—and last year, Chrysler announced it was adding a second shift of 1,100 workers to produce the next Jeep SUV. And next week, Chrysler will add a third shift of 1,100 workers at its Jefferson North plant in Detroit, MI to keep up with demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Thanks to President Obama’s bold and politically unpopular decision to rescue the U.S. auto industry and save more than 1 million jobs, America’s car manufacturers are in the midst of a roaring comeback. Now that they’ve paid back their loans, U.S. automakers have posted record profits, added thousands of jobs, and regained their place as leaders in the industry. In fact, 2011 marked “the first time in years that Chrysler, Ford, and GM have all been profitable at the same time.”

Mitt Romney knows that the auto industry is back on its feet—after all, he’s a “son of Detroit.” But voters in Ohio and Michigan also know that Romney would have “let Detroit go bankrupt” and sacrificed their jobs. As Chrysler made abundantly clear, Jeep’s not going anywhere.

What’s more, President Obama has fought against unfair Chinese trade practices that hurt the U.S. auto industry—filing a case against China at the WTO to stop tariffs that make it harder to export Jeeps and other cars to China. But while the President has fought to safeguard U.S. jobs from Chinese competition by filing trade complaints and imposing strict tariffs, Romney called President Obama’s effort to defend American tire workers from China’s unfair trade practices “bad for the nation and our workers.” President Obama has already filed more than twice as many trade complaints against China as the Bush administration did, and he plans to eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Romney, on the other hand, would encourage outsourcing by eliminating taxes on Americans companies’ foreign profits, which could create 800,000 jobs in other countries, including China.

Whether it’s standing up to China or standing up for Detroit, when it comes to betting on the American worker, the choice in this election couldn’t be any clearer.