China condemned the White House’s announcement as protectionist and said it violated global trade rules. So why did it happen? Petty politics. In the United States, punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires coming into the US from China may placate union supporters who are important to the president’s health care push.
The federal trade panel recommended a 55% tariff in the first year, 45% in the second year and 35% in the third year. Obama settled on 35% the first year, 30% in the second and 25% in the third.
Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association, which opposes the tariff, said it would not save American jobs. He said the penalties would cause tire manufacturers to move production to another country with less strict environmental and safety controls, less active unions and lower costs than the United States.
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