Skip to comments.A Protectionist Wave--Obama invites a rush of similar claims with his tariffs on Chinese tires
Posted on 09/12/2009 10:27:14 AM PDT by jazusamo
The White House leaked word late Friday evening that the U.S. will impose a 35% tariff on imported Chinese tires used by millions of low-income Americans. We wonder if President Obama understands the political forces he's unleashing with this blatant protectionism.
Mr. Obama is setting a precedent in the tire case because he is applying a previously unused part of the trade law known as Section 421. This allows U.S. industries or unions to seek protection from "surges" of Chinese imports, with a lower burden of proof than normal antidumping or countervailing duty cases. President Bush nixed the four Section 421 petitions that reached his desk, citing the national economic interest. Domestic lobbies had lobbied Mr. Obama hard to reverse that pattern and set a new protectionist precedent.
Eleven Senators, including Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), sent a letter to President Obama in July advocating the tariff on Chinese tires. "We firmly believe that providing this specific measure of relief would send a powerful message to the American people that you intend to keep your promise to enforce trade laws fully," they wrote.
Then there are companies that face competition from lower-cost Chinese imports and want to push their antitrade agenda forward. Take the Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws, which lobbed a pro-tariff letter into the White House this month. The umbrella group includes the American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade; the California Fresh Garlic Producers Association; the U.S. Beekeepers; the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association; and the Flower Growers of Puget Sound. "This case is being watched closely to see whether Section 421 is an effective law or a dead issue,"committee executive director David A. Hartquist wrote to Mr. Obama.
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Works for me.
They are far, far, far more dangerous than the islamic goat humpers.
This is a political move by Obama, to help his standing with the rust belt.
It is not protectionism, because China is but one country. If we want cheap tires we can get them from South Korea. True protectionism would require tariffs on all foreign tires, including those European Michelins.
Smoot-Hawley was across the board and everywhere.
Protectionism was also tried before the last great depression - with what will be equally bad results. I suspect China will not take this causally - and we have a lot more to lose than they do... and lose we will...
Trouble is, they are even more expensive than American made tires. And they would probably win an international court challenge on who subsidizes the industry more as well.
I’m sure the unions asked him to do it. BTW, I need new tires for my Nissan Titan. Mostly city and highway driving. Any economical suggestions?
The WTO will reject it.
Bad business that will hurt the poor.
What the average American consumer doesn’t realize is that it is they who are getting screwed by all the protectionist policies that still exist, as well as all the subsidies that the government is providing for American producers.
We pay for all of it in the end. The real evil at work here is big government. We pay for it all, when we should be enjoying cheap products and a much lower cost of living for just about everything you can imagine. It is government and organized labor that is driving business out of this country, not cheap imports which- “on a level playing field” - could never compete with a modern automated American manufacturer.
The autowrecker. Avoid paying those enviromental fees built into the cost of new rubber. You can get an almost new set of tires from a wreck for $50, including the rims at some places.
Case in point: Ethanol is probably a bad idea in any form.
However, if we are going to use food products for fuel, this foolish idea would be LESS FOOLISH if we would use SUGAR rather than grain.
However, we will not allow the economical importation of pure cane sugar, from Brazil!
As far as ethnol from grains, I don't think anyone would be too happy if they stopped making whiskey, which is all that kind of grain is used for making, besides even more animal feed from the tailings.
As for Brazil sugar, yes, we have tariffs on buying quota's on sugar imports to force food makers to buy up American sugar. Currently there is a sugar shortage which is largely a fabricated shortage to try force those tariffs down. Brazil interestingly enough runs 80% of their vehicles on ethanol, and can still export billions of gallons of ethanol and tons of sugar if it were allowed into this country. Sad that consumers are screwed by our own government every way they turn, and are fed horse crap like 'food for fuel' and "cheap labor imports" nonsense as pacifiers.
Nah. This is better. We don’t want to reduce our standard of living to match the lowest in the world.
Level the playing field. Put the same costs on foreign manufacturers that are mandated for America manufacturers. If American companies have to pay extra environmental, health care, taxes and regulatory costs then put the same dollar load on foreign companies. Its like States do on equalize sales taxes with compensating use taxes.
Ethanol is stupid.
Ethanol causes inflation in food prices across the board.
Ethanol wastes massive quantities of water.
But, if we must be stupid, lets use pure sugar, at least!
Corn grown for Ethanol is taking land away from corn grown for FOOD!
(What I meant!)
I don't know why you hate Obama so much then, because turning the USA into a closed bordered "USSR" is exactly what he wants to do, and what you want.
Less than 1% of corn grown here is of the kind used for human food consuption. And of that 1%, many years 500,000 tons of it ends up in landfills.
Hybrid corn is grown for animal feed, corn syrop production, and ethanol.
Increasing ethanol production increases animal feed production because it's the proteins from the corn that are used for making animal feed, not the starches.
More animal feed = more animals for food, not less.
And last I looked, I didn’t see any soda pop shortages, or fat people loosing weight because of any corn syrup production slow downs.
The price of corn flour based food, in South American and elsewhere, has gone up a great deal due to ethanol using up too much of our corn acreage.
Absolute rubbish. The driving factors of corn prices, flours etc. is the tripling and quadrupling costs of fuels and fertilizers.
The initial price increases on the commodity markets for hybrid corn (used for ethanol) went down as initial acreages and idle land kept out of production because of subsidy programs went back into use.
The current increases of corn and corn products such as flour for human consumption are SOLEY because of fuel fertilizer and transportation cost increases. They have nothing to do with ethanol production at all, First, because that type of corn isn't even used in ethanol production, and secondly, the land put back into use for hybrid corns has actually caused the price of that kind of corn to go down on the commodity markets.
If you actually looked into things, you'd discover the truth.