** Obama Announces WTO Action Against China for US Car Duties**
U.S. President Barack Obama says his government will fight to hold China accountable for practices harming American automakers.
Speaking at a campaign stop near Toledo, Ohio Thursday, Mr. Obama said Americans need a "fair playing field." He announced a new complaint with the World Trade Organization on more than $3 billion in allegedly unfair Chinese duties on American-made cars.
Toledo is home to a big auto plant complex. Mr. Obama told the crowd that six previous WTO challenges to China have been successful.
Mr. Obama is spending Thursday and Friday in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two crucial states in the November general election.
He carried both in the 2008 election, and recent opinion polls show him holding a narrow lead over his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. The president will use the campaign swing to portray himself as a champion of average, working-class Americans, and to portray Romney as a wealthy businessman before he entered politics.
** No Improvement Expected in US Employment Report**
The unemployment rate in the United States is expected to remain stalled at 8.2 percent when the Labor Department releases its jobs report for June on Friday.
But economists believe the government report may show employers added anywhere between 90,000 and 100,000 jobs last month, better than the 69,000 jobs added in May.
Recent reports have presented a mixed picture for the US economy. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issued two separate reports this week showing manufacturing activity shrank in June, the first such decline in nearly three years, while non-manufacturing activity slightly declined in the previous month.
But the Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for first-time jobless benefits dropped by 14,000 in week ending June 30, while the payroll-processing firm ADP said that businesses added 176,000 new jobs last month.
The ongoing European sovereign debt crisis, as well as a political stalemate in Washington, has stalled the U.S. recovery from the global recession.