Trade War Watch 8: China Probes US Bailout

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

As U.S. President Barack Obama landed in Shanghai for a weeklong visit to his largest creditor, China, the news awaited him that China’s Ministry of Commerce will investigate the U.S. government’s financing and rescue plans for the American auto industry, Shanghai Daily reports.

The move is part of China’s probe into possible dumping and subsidies on U.S.-made vehicles imported to China, the ministry said. Trade officials will be looking for dumping practices and for unfair government subsidies.


Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said China’s probe will look into 24 items which include the U.S. government’s rescue and restructuring plans for the auto industry as well as government subsidies on new-energy vehicles and its “cash-for-clunkers” incentive program.

The concerned U.S. automakers have the right to defend themselves with evidence presented to Chinese investigators by registering within 20 days after China started the probe of U.S. auto imports on November 6, and corrective action must be taken within 60 days after a case is registered.

The investigation applies to sedans and off-road vehicles with engine displacements of 2.0 liters or more, and the whole process of the probe and ruling is expected to be completed within 12 months.

The probe is widely seen as a tit-for-tat measure after Obama imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese tires and steel pipes. These investigation have become a common occurrence: The U.S. has carried out 13 investigations against Chinese products this year for alleged dumping and illegal subsidies.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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 2 comments
  • FreedMike Well, here's my roster of car purchases since 1981: Three VWsTwo Mazdas (one being a Mercury Tracer, full disclosure)One AudiOne FordOne BuickOne HondaOne Volvo I think I hear Lee Greenwood in the background... In all seriousness, I'd have bought more American cars had they made more of the kinds of cars I like (smaller, performance-oriented).
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I'll gladly support the least "woke" and the most Japanese auto company out there.
  • Jmo2 I just got an email from the dealership where I bought my car and it looks like everything has $5k on the hood.
  • Lou_BC I suspect that since the global pandemic, dealerships have preferred to stay with the "if you want it, we will order it" business model. They just need some demo models on hand and some shiny bits to catch the impulse buyer. Profits are higher and risks lower this way.
  • Probert When I hear the word "patriot", I think of entitled hateful whining ignorant traitors to democracy. But hey , meant to say "Pass the salt."
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