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In two earlier cases, the U.S. challenged duties China had imposed to restrict certain steel imports, chicken products and several industrial raw materials, including rare earth minerals, as well as solar panels and wind-turbine products.

The repeated clashes have led some analysts to predict that the two countries are headed for a trade war. Advocates for the U.S. manufacturing industry applauded the Obama administration’s moves against Beijing, noting that Chinese auto parts are surging into America while less than 1 percent of the estimated 18 million vehicles sold in China last year were made in the U.S.

“This administration has a stellar record on enforcing America’s trade laws and has not hesitated to take action to defend American workers — today’s announcement is further proof of that. But, there is more work to do,” said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

“Unless strong steps are taken now to also defend American auto-parts jobs, the efforts of the auto companies, unions and the administration to revitalize the American auto sector could be washed away in a matter of a few years,” he said.

But the Romney campaign argued that Mr. Obama has failed to get tough on China’s trade practices, and specifically has refused to accuse China of manipulating currency.

“On issues important to the people of Ohio, President Obama has utterly failed to deliver,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement, citing the loss of more than a half-million manufacturing jobs since Joseph R. Biden’s campaign trip to the same Ohio town in 2008 as vice-presidential candidate.

“Four years ago, Vice President Biden came to Maumee to decry the national debt, which was then $8 trillion,” she said. “Today, the Obama-Biden administration has presided over an unprecedented explosion in our national debt, which is now approaching $16 trillion. Meanwhile, America has lost over half a million manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office, and he has broken his campaign promise to get tough on China’s trade practices.”