• Sep 14, 2009
The aggrieved parties are: the United Steelworkers and the U.S. government on one side, Chinese tire companies and the Chinese government on the other. The issues are, as always, jobs and money. The Steelworkers brought a case against Chinese tire companies for dumping tires on the U.S. market over the past few years and in the process putting more than 5,000 people out of work and closing seven domestic tire factories. The case was ruled on by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which found in favor of the Steelworkers. In response, the current administration plastered a 35% tax on Chinese passenger car and light truck tires.

Naturally, the Chinese are miffed, to say the least. They feel the tariff is contrary to World Trade Organization rules and President Obama's rhetoric on current tariff levels, as well as being a tactic of undue protectionism. When China entered the WTO, the U.S. specifically negotiated the right to protect itself against a sudden wave of Chinese goods, and the ITC feels that China's share of the tire market having grown 14% in four years, with 31 million more tires entering, is just such an occasion.

Politics could be the decider in this one, however. China can complain to the WTO, attempt to impose its own countermeasures, or at the upcoming G-20 meeting it can simply whisper in Obama's ear, "You know that $1.56-trillion-and-counting deficit you guys need floated..." Nobody wins in the case of escalation, but we have a feeling the fight isn't yet finished.

[Source: Wall Street Journal | Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 77 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Brian,

      I know it feels good to hide behind the anonymity of the internet to say some things which you probably don't use in real life. I know I can't make you understand why that phrase might be considered a little out of line. All I can hope is that you are a little more restrained in your language in real life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Patrick
      Nankangs are Taiwanese.
      • 5 Years Ago
      so if this is suppose to put u.s.workers back to work because china tires are to cheap why has almost every tire maker no matter where there tires are built u.s.,japan,france,india,ect taken a price increase since monday 9-14-09 some have gone as far as to make the price hike affective for tires that that where ordered last week but not delv. untill this week another { another blunder i feel we have made} all that has happened is that the consumer is now paying alot more for tires that they did on friday lets see how well that helps our economy
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fair trade, being a good goal, is a hard thing to diplomatically acheive, when you owe more money than you make to the other negotiating party.

      Jacking up tariffs are going to piss them off, raise prices here (just as automotive maintenance is on the rise, as more people keep cars longer.), and not going to cut costs for people to do business in the US.

      This doesn't necessarily mean more US-made tires. It could mean fewer tires available altogether, because just making chinese goods more expensive to American customers, doesn't mean that it is price effective to build those products here with regulation and taxation.

      The question is, is this just the beginning, like Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1933, that kicked off the main stagnation of the great depression. (where most of the world otherwise just had a depression for a couple years in the early 30s, the US stagnated up to the necessity of WWII. And we were not the debtor nation then that we are now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kudos to you, Boxer! You get it.

        So few politicians look to the past for answers. So many of them tell us "not to dwell upon the past" because they need to "move the nation forward". I guess we are doomed to forever repeating the past...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boxer is dead on. This is Obama pandering to the steelworkers union who pushed for the tariff and it puts our economy further in jeopardy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know what they say...

        "Those who know not history, are doomed to repeat it."

        The sad thing is, that they are in charge, and dragging us ALL back there.

        I have said for a while that Bush and Obama are trying to do their best impersonations of Herbert "Chicken in every pot" Hoover, and Franklin "New Raw Deal" Roosevelt.

        R and D don't really much matter when they are both headed outbound from the basis of politico-economic freedom.
      • 5 Years Ago
      such a troll Brain, i bet if Bush did this you would have appalled bush for standing up to china.

      BTW i love how to troll autoblog and yet never made a post that was about autos or wasnt about politics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad I stocked up on tires last year. Tires will get more expensive as a result of the tariffs.. ALL tires, not just Chinese made. As a result, demand will drop and the unionized workers will lose their jobs faster.

      Unions are the root of all evil. They should be made illegal. They're the single biggest cause of inflation, unemployment national debt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Unions are the root of all evil. They should be made illegal. They're the single biggest cause of inflation, unemployment national debt."

        Sometimes I can't tell if someone is serious or just trying to be funny so my apologies if this was the latter.

        A. There's essentially no inflation in the U.S.
        B. Current short term unemployment is the result of the housing/Wall street implosion which was caused by non-unionized, sleezy, white collar executives. Long term unemployment is caused by this free trade experiment we started last decade. How's that been working out for you?
        C. National debt is caused by corrupt politicians and stupid voters who think pork is evil unless it benefits their distrinct, in which case it's friggin awesome.

        Unions have virtualy nothing to do with any of the major issues we face today as a country.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Amen!! No to Union parasites!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sometimes I can't believe how ignorant some sheeple really are.

        A. Yes right now there is little inflation because of the deflationary pressures of the collapsing private sector economy. But over the past 40 years, the inflation has been MASSIVE. In 1970, 1oz of gold was $36. Today that same 1oz will cost you $1000. That's 2677.77% rate of inflation. Annualized, that's 67% PER YEAR.

        B. Current unemployment is anything but short term. Employment is actually WAY TOO HIGH, with balooning parasitic "public jobs." Most public employees (teachers, cops, admins, etc) are unionized and demand huge annual raises which they usually get at the expense of the taxpayer. In the private sector, unions still exert big pressure and get huge unsustainable raises, aiding to the demise of the business - just look at GM, Chrysler...

        C. Correct, but again, all that extra money is primarily demanded by unionized workers. The politicians don't have the balls to say no or say yes and raise taxes so they just say yes put it on credit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unions have been and are illegal in places like China. All it takes is an authoritarian government that can impose it's will on the population without having to worry about elections.

        And by the way;

        National debt is caused by government spending more than it takes in. How do unions cause that?

        Unemployment has exploded since the recession started. Did unions cause the recession?

        We've enjoyed relatively low inflation in this country since the mid 1980's. It was even lower in the 50's and 60's (1.5 to 2.5%) when unions were much stronger than they are now. How is that possible if unions cause inflation?

        Finally: 88% of American workers do not belong to a union. Is it really your contention that 12% of the workforce is the source of all of our economic problems?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Unions only look bad to idiots because they can't accept that UAW (which by the way is a group of people who work harder than most of the aforementioned idiots will ever understand) wants to protect their livelihood. I am not an expert on economics, but i can tell you that an American auto worker should for DAMN sure make a career and a comfortable retirement. If you want to hate on anyone, it should be the big three.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everyone is offended that Brian called Obama "Chocolate", a term of endearment that even Black Americans use, yet no one is offended that the referred to him as "Jesus"?

      Its a sad world we live in today.

      Made worse by the fact that Chairman MaObama is in charge.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Chocolate" has a negative connotation to people? WTF?

      • 5 Years Ago
      China does not play by the rules either. China lets their auto companies make copies of existing models and lets them sell them anyway.

      Well, too bad. If China puts tariffs on more our things, we can a higher tariff on their products. China dumps more crap on our shores than we do. Guess who loses more.

      Lets stick to the topics and leave racism out of this. OK?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems a little late too me... the 7 factories are closed, now the distributor I use will have to pass the prices(taxes) on to me and then from me to the consumer and I highly doubt that the brands will be rushing to reopen factories and build current molds to match the lines they just moved to China(meaning many will likely lose business and fold leaving even less choice/competition for the consumer). This is a cycle that should be stopped early on. Free trade should be based on local resources and the ability to make and deliver competitive goods at a competitive price. It is time for the unions to start paying attention and stop stealing such a large piece of the pie on the backs of the american worker. This will only get worse as Govt. continues to support the unions and not the people.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "This will only get worse as Govt. continues to support the unions and not the people."

        Please explain that statement to me. The membership of the unions are THE people. Or did they recently started representing 'droids?

        Look, I am not a lover of the unions, haven't been a member of any union since 1979. The unions have done a lot of good for American labor over the years, even forced the government to improve the labor laws. So, they can be useful. Maybe your business doesn't have or need a union, however, you have reaped the benefits of their struggles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i wouldn't buy chinese tires either way. i don't want my car to crash
      • 5 Years Ago
      At least a third of the comments on this post seem to be about Obama and race rather than the original topic. Namely about tariffs on Chinese tires.
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