As the last of the Obama stimulus package peters out we find the economy beginning to stall. Less than half the size that it should have been, it's no surprise that it didn't work very well. Remember a third of what was spent went to tax cuts, and another big chunk went to the states to keep them in the black. The Republican response was to reject the money where they could, simultaneously cut jobs and spending. This plunged their red states right to the bottom. If we had another million people still teaching, fighting fires, pounding a beat, and inspecting bridges the economy would look a lot better. Add in a couple of million private sector jobs that these austerity cuts created in turn, and you can see the problem.
China finds itself currently in a another slump too. Their response is another stimulus package focused on affordable housing and energy efficient appliances. All to made in China of course. Romney's surrogates are touting Obama's failure to crack down on China's currency manipulation. They say Romney will do that the first day he's in the White House, they don't really say how. Obama could declare them a "currency manipulator" and I agree it was a mistake for him not to that when it took office, Bush could have at any point as well (this isn't new, but they'd like you to think so). Romney says that's what he'll do, he doesn't mention that doing so then requires tariffs to be imposed. When Obama slapped China with a 99% tariff on tires, 48% on steel pipe and now 41% on solar panels, Romney called that "protectionism". Romney doesn't want you notice that he's not telling you the truth.
Even if you could force China to allow its currency to float against the USD on the currency markets, without imposing tariffs, at this point it probably wouldn't help. Monetary policy is no substitute for trade policy, and no, switching to the gold standard wouldn't work. The one thing that has always worked throughout history is tariffs, and we can see over the past couple of decades what happens without them.