Reporting from Washington and Beijing – In a decision that could roil trade tensions with Beijing, President Obama agreed Friday to impose hefty tariffs on tires imported from China.
The decision came after the U.S. International Trade Commission, a federal agency, determined that a surge of Chinese-made tires had disrupted the domestic market and cost thousands of jobs in the U.S.
Within 15 days, the U.S. would add a duty of 35% in the first year, 30% in the second and 25% in the third on passenger vehicle and light-truck tires from China. That is less than the 55% tariff recommended by the trade panel, but analysts said it would still be large enough to keep most Chinese tires out of the competitive U.S. market.
“The president decided to remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry based on the facts and the law in this case,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
The decision was a victory for the United Steelworkers union, which filed the complaint in May. The union represents about half of the more than 30,000 tire production workers in the U.S.
Victory for the union… loss for everyone else. Hundreds of years of economic theory and reality showing this kind of shit is bad for everyone involved isn’t enough for Obama and friends. Selling the many down the river for a short term benefit for the few.
“Unfortunately, there are some elements here who will call this protectionism,” Shi said. “But I don’t think it will have that much of a negative impact. The volume of trade is still very large.”
Other analysts disagreed, saying Beijing would take the decision very seriously. Some in the Chinese tire industry warned of retaliation.
There’s definately a part of me that wants China to retaliate. Bring on Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act Part 2.