Chinese tire-import spat puts Obama in trade-policy pickle

Chinese tire-import spat puts Obama in trade-policy pickle...

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For ECON 0602 Reading Only AUGUST 28, 2009 , WSJ Chinese Tire-Import Spat Puts Obama in Trade-Policy Pickle By PETER FRITSCH WASHINGTON -- A politically charged case involving Chinese tire imports will soon force the hand of an Obama administration that has yet to articulate a clear trade policy to anxious global trading partners. President Barack Obama has until Sept. 17 to rule on a U.S. International Trade Commission recommendation that the White House put a 55% tariff on low-grade car tires imported from China. The ITC's finding followed a complaint by the United Steelworkers that a flood of cheap Chinese tires in recent years had cost more than 5,000 union jobs. Associated Press President Barack Obama will decide whether to impose a 55% tariff on low-grade car tires imported from China. More Should the Obama administration put a tariff on low-grade car tires from China? Join the discussion at Journal Community . The president's decision -- he is under no obligation to follow the ITC -- is due just days before he hosts Chinese President Hu Jintao and others world leaders at a G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Mr. Obama's call is fraught with political risk. If he sides with the steelworkers, he invites accusations of protectionism. Siding with China risks disappointing a key constituency that he is relying on to support his domestic agenda. Mr. Obama's conundrum evokes his predecessor's wrangling over steel. President George W. Bush imposed 30% tariffs on steel imports during his first year in office, a sop to a domestic industry that he was forced to abandon in December 2003 under intense pressure from trading partners. The episode severely weakened the U.S. in global trade talks. "Given that the [tire] petition was supported only by unions and not by the U.S. tire industry, our allies will
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Chinese tire-import spat puts Obama in trade-policy pickle...

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