Monday, September 14, 2009

A China dumping case that Americans might not support

If I were to tell you that there are dumping allegations swirling around the U.S. and China, there's a certain faction of the country that would probably applaud the allegations. Now this support would not be limited to one ideological faction or another - both the people who hate the danged Commies AND the people who love the labor unions would certainly climb on board for U.S. action against China.

Only one problem - this isn't a U.S. action against China.

China unexpectedly increased pressure Sunday on the United States in a widening trade dispute, taking the first steps toward imposing tariffs on American exports of automotive products and chicken meat....

[T]he United States shipped about $800 million in automotive products and $376 million in chicken meat to China, according to data from Global Trade Information Services in Columbia, S.C....

China’s commerce ministry announced Sunday that it would investigate “certain imported automotive products and certain imported chicken meat products originating from the United States” to determine if they were being subsidized or “dumped” below cost in the Chinese market. A finding of subsidies or dumping would allow China to impose tariffs on these imports.

Now when the New York Times reported this, they noted that it was in response to American actions against Chinese tires. But China neglected to emphasize that little detail - at least formally.

The ministry did not mention the tire dispute in its announcement, portraying the investigations as “based on the laws of our country and on World Trade Organization rules.”

But the timing of the announcement — on a weekend and just after the tire decision in Washington — sent an unmistakable message of retaliation. The official Xinhua news agency Web site prominently linked its reports on the tire dispute and the Chinese investigations.
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