Saturday, September 12, 2009
Hey, you know what would be a good idea right now? A Trade War.
In one of his first major decisions on trade policy, President Obama opted Friday to impose a tariff on tires from China, a move that fulfills his campaign promise to "crack down" on imports that unfairly undermine American workers but risks angering the nation's second-largest trading partner.
The decision is intended to bolster the ailing U.S. tire industry, in which more than 5,000 jobs have been lost over the past five years as the volume of Chinese tires in the market has tripled.
It comes at a sensitive time, however. Leaders from the world's largest economies are preparing to gather in Pittsburgh in less than two weeks to discuss more cooperation amid tensions over trade.
I'm sure the Chinese realize that this is just political posturing and they will react calmly.
China decried a U.S. decision to impose added duty on Chinese-made tires, saying the move sent a dangerous protectionist signal before a G20 summit and could stoke reactions impeding global recovery.
See, no problems. The One's charm will win them over.
But the White House played down the dispute, saying it was simply "enforcing the rules of the road" and did not expect the matter to escalate into a trade war.