Obama keeps message on economy during Florida stop
President Barack Obama speaks about trade policies with Latin America at the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Florida, April 13. Later today, Obama travels to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.
April 13th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

Obama keeps message on economy during Florida stop

Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Touching down in the key campaign state of Florida for the second time this week, President Obama pledged to further promote trade with Latin America and unveiled a new federal program to aide small businesses exporting south of the border.

“In Latin America alone in the last decade, tens of millions of people have stepped into the middle class,” Obama said to a group of small business owners at the Port of Tampa. “That means they have more money to spend, we want them to spend more money on American-made goods. “

The quick visit to Tampa comes ahead of the president’s visit to Cartagena, Colombia later this evening, where he will attend the Summit of the Americas. The two-day gathering with leaders from the Western Hemisphere will specifically focus on economic and trade issues in Latin America.

While I am in Colombia talking to other leaders, I am going think about you,” the President told the group. “I want to sell our stuff and put Americans back to work.”

The summit also provides the president with a convenient opportunity to promote issues that his campaign no doubt hopes will resonate with certain Hispanic voters, specifically development in Central and South America and more federal assistance to businesses that have trading relationships with countries there.

Topics: Florida • Hispanic Vote • President Obama • Trade
U.S. to file trade case against China over rare earths
March 13th, 2012
11:47 AM ET

U.S. to file trade case against China over rare earths

Washington (CNN) - The United States plans to announce Tuesday that it is filing a trade case over China's export restrictions on minerals that are crucial for the production of many high tech devices, a senior Obama administration official said.

The European Union and Japan will join the United States in the case, which aims to pressure China to lift export limits on certain minerals known as rare earths, the official said Monday.

China produces about 95% of all rare earths, which are used to make products like flat-screen televisions, smart phones and hybrid cars.

The United States will ask the World Trade Organization, the organization tasked with monitoring trade between nations, to serve as a facilitator in talks with China, according to the U.S. official.

The United States accuses China of hoarding the valuable minerals for its own use. But China disputes that, saying the restrictions are motivated by environmental concerns.

Topics: China • The News • Trade