Explainer | US election: from Montana to Florida, everyone’s talking about China

Explainer | US election: from Montana to Florida, everyone’s talking about China

In the 2020 US election, China has become an issue not just in the presidential race, but at the state and local levels.

As President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden have sparred over who would be tougher against Beijing, candidates up and down the ballot have campaigned on concerns about China and Chinese influence.

From Republican strongholds Montana and Georgia to swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, candidates have sought to one-up their opponents with talking points such as Beijing’s culpability in the coronavirus pandemic, the US trade imbalance with China, and Chinese influence and interference in the United States.

Montana

In Montana, one issue is just how strong Republican Senator Steve Daines’ record on China has been.

His Democratic opponent, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, has criticised Daines for his work in the 1990s for US consumer giant Procter & Gamble in China, during which four American factories were closed. The company said Daines was not involved in the decision to close the plants, and that the job losses were not related to its China expansion.