Monday, December 13, 2010

Woo-hoo! China loses trade spat over tire tariffs

A rare but sweet trade victory for American workers today: China lost its dispute with the U.S. over the 35 percent tariffs we slapped on their tires.

The steelworkers convinced President Obama to impose the tariffs on $1.8 bilion worth of tires in September 2009 because China was dumping tires in the U.S. China appealed the tariffs to the World Trade Organization, which rejected their argument.

According to Bloomberg News,

...the United Steelworkers union, which represents 15,000 employees at 13 tire plants in the U.S.... said Chinese tire exports to the U.S. tripled from 2001 to 2004 to 41 million and called for a cap on annual imports of 21 million. 
Bloomberg points out that China ran up a $201 billion trade surplus with us in the first nine months of 2010,  more than our deficit with the next seven-largest trading partners combined, according to the Commerce Department.

United Steelworker President Leo Gerard had this to say:
Since the tariffs have been in effect, U.S. domestic tire production has increased, tire producers have made new capital investments, and new jobs have been created for American tire workers.
The Economic Populist calls it "a huge deal,  a major victory because the WTO allowed tariffs as a trade remedy." He notes that Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME)  introduced an amendment to put tariffs on China for currency manipulation. The Alliance for American Manufacturing calls it "the single most important step Congress could take to create jobs."

Oh, and by the way, India makes crap too. Steel pipe from India is being dug up for the TransCanada Keystone pipeline because it's defective.