China: Of course you realize this means warby Tim Manni
This is the sort of event that many people won’t hear about in their daily news broadcast, but it could have far-reaching consequences:
A full-blown trade row erupted between the US and China after Beijing accused Washington of “rampant protectionism” for imposing heavy duties on imported Chinese tyres and threatened action against imports of US poultry and vehicles.
Trade relations between two of the world’s biggest economies deteriorated after Barack Obama, US president, signed an order late on Friday to impose a new duty of 35 per cent on Chinese tyre imports on top of an existing 4 per cent tariff.
In his first big test on world trade since taking office in January, Mr Obama sided with America’s trade unions, which have complained that a “surge” in imports of Chinese-made tyres had caused 7,000 job losses among US factory workers.
The Chinese are accusing the US of “trade protectionism,” a term which means that Obama is imposing tariffs — an extra tax — to increase the price of imported tires for our cars and trucks. The United Steelworkers union petitioned the Administration, complaining that Chinese tire imports have nearly tripled in the past few years.
China is protesting the move as as a violation of international trade laws agreed to by both countries and is threatening to impose punishing tariffs on US goods exported to China including US poultry and vehicles.
It’s not clear whether the US has the support of the World Trade Organization, but the Administration claims that it’s simply enforcing trade rules:
“This is simply about enforcing the rules of the road and creating a trade system that is based on those rules and is fair for everybody,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters on Air Force One as President Barack Obama traveled to talk about his healthcare initiative.
If nothing is done, the effect will be a sharp spike in the price of some imported tires — and possibly the loss of more jobs in America. There’s a certain irony in that the steelworkers union is prepared to sacrifice jobs in other industries to try to preserve some in its own.