The United States will report China to the WTO tomorrow, Reuters says. The contention: China’s decision to impose extra duties on more than $3 billion worth of cars imported from the U.S. According to Reuters, “the complaint comes as President Barack Obama campaigns in Ohio, where auto plants have been affected by the duties.” The Prez goes on a “Betting on America” bus tour.
In April 2011, China enacted punitive tariffs against cars imported from America.
The tariffs were heavily skewed against GM and Chrysler. China’s argument was that both were the recipient of government subsidies. The U.S. had used the same argument for imposing tariffs against Chinese products.
Said a U.S. trade official in an email to Reuters:
“The duties disproportionately fall on General Motors and Chrysler products precisely because of the actions that President Obama took to support the U.S. auto industry during the financial crisis. The president’s re-election campaign has sought to tie his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, to the outsourcing of American jobs to China, tapping into public worry over high U.S. unemployment that will be a key factor in the Nov. 6 ballot. “
The dog wagging is the latest chapter in the drawn out trade war. It was started by America in 2009 when the U.S. enacted punitive tariffs against low priced made-in-China tires. Production of low cost tires moved to Thailand, from where they were imported duty free until that loophole was closed.
PS: Today, WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell told Reuters: “We have now received formal notification from the U.S.,”