Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Protectionism doesn't work folks

Here is a recap of the headlines regarding the recent tariff on imported tires:

Obama to impose tariffs on Chinese tires: Obama imposes tariffs on China tires for 3 years, a decision that could anger Asian powerhouse

China Strikes Back on Trade: Beijing Threatens U.S. Chicken, Car Parts After Washington Slaps Stiff Tariffs on Tires

Stocks head lower on US-China trade concerns: Major indexes fall in early dealings amid concerns about US-China trade dispute

Tire Tariffs Are Cheered by Labor: Mr. Obama ordered the tire tariffs after the United States International Trade Commission, an independent government agency, determined that a more than tripling of Chinese tire imports had disrupted the $1.7 billion tire market....President George W. Bush had rejected four similar recommendations from the trade commission, angering organized labor.
"One of the most amazing and overlooked details about the "punitive tire tariffs" is that they were actually opposed by the domestic tire industry (Goodyear and Cooper). It was the United Steelworkers who filed the complaint, not domestic tire workers or the domestic tire industry." (Mark Perry)

From the NY Times:
Mr. Obama, responding to a complaint by the United Steelworkers, imposed a 35% tariff on Chinese tires for cars and light trucks. China has deplored the administration’s decision, suggesting it caved to domestic support for protectionism. The Tire Industry Association, which represents American tire retailers, said the decision was ill-advised and would lead to higher prices for consumers.


Anonymous said...

Since you are an economist I would have expected your title to this entry to read "Depending on Where You Sit, Protectionsim Doesn't Work Folks". The tire retailers will sell tires no matter who makes them, China, Taliban or Americans. American tire makers do care. I would rather read your list of solutions for fair trade between nations instead and maybe find out the extent that Chinese tire manufacturers are competing on an even playing field their US counter parts. By the way, you need to update this entry because the Major Indicies ended up today, I guess on news of US China trade disputes? Come on Charlie, lets leave the politics out of economics.

Rick Brown said...

Obama was successfully elected by unions and now has to hold to commitments he made, right or wrong, this is how politics work. Hopefully Teddy took the secret ballot to the grave with him. Charlie, it is ok to comment on the political facts and historical truths so we can learn from past mistakes.