The Obama administration launched a WTO challenge of Chinese tariffs on US auto imports, just as the president is scheduled to campaign in key election swing states with strong manufacturing hubs, Financial Times reported. Chinese officials said last year that the US government bailout of the auto industry constituted a subsidy and was illegal under WTO rules, thus allowing it to impose a tariff in response. The Obama administration says the Chinese tariffs it is challenging range from 2-12.9% and affect 92,000 vehicle exports worth US$3.3 billion. It launched an “enforcement action” in the WTO, which allows it to demand formal consultations on the matter with China. “As long as we are competing on a fair playing field, we are doing just fine – and I am going to make sure the competition is fair,” Obama told a crowd in Ohio, a state which – along with neighboring Michigan – has a strong auto industry.