Trade War Watch 21: America Drags China In Front Of WTO As Obama Campaigns In Ohio

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.,”

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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  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jul 05, 2012

    Yeah, US tire manufacturers (like US steel-makers) had absolutely nothing to do with it. And China raising the whole govt.-subsidies argument is sinply laughable.

  • Cwallace Cwallace on Jul 05, 2012

    I've yet to see a photo of Bob King in which he doesn't look completely out of his depth.

    • "scarey" "scarey" on Jul 05, 2012

      At least HE is only running a union. Obama is trying unsuccessfully to run a country.

  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
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