Good for the Obama Administration, pursuing a trade case against China's duties on U.S. car exports
No matter that China allowed only 106,000 U.S.-made cars into its market last year while Chinese consumers purchased roughly 18 million vehicles overall.
And no matter that China has virtually unlimited access to the U.S. market.
Despite all of that, Beijing constantly tries to block the entry of U.S.-made goods. Their imposition of duties on U.S. cars makes is brash and improper.
White House press secretary Jay Carney explained the WTO case, saying that the duties imposed by China "disproportionately fall on General Motors and Chrysler products." He said that this is the seventh such action taken against China:
"The previous six have all been successful." And he said pace of actions was double that of the previous administration.
"I think it underscores the president's commitment to American companies and American workers." He also noted that the Chinese were given a routine courtesy heads up.
It's great that the Obama Administration is tackling this protectionist market barrier head on.
Since we're talking autos though, the Administration needs to go a step further. At the same time that Beijing is blocking U.S. auto exports, it is also happily flooding the U.S. market with auto parts that are manufactured via massive, illegal subsidies.
The U.S. auto parts sector comprises 3/4ths of the nation's automotive employment, which means that 1.6 million jobs are at risk if China keeps hammering away at U.S. auto supply chain.
Exports of subsidized auto parts from China have already contributed to the loss of more than 400,000 jobs in the auto parts sector. And Chinese auto parts imports have skyrocketed by almost 900 percent since 2000.
The next step for the Administration seems pretty clear since the catalogue of China's unfair trade practices is growing. Simply put, China needs to be called on the carpet not only for its predatory dumping of auto parts, as well as its currency manipulation and rampant industrial subsidies.
Keep filing these cases, Mr. President. We have more work to do to restore a level playing field for U.S. manufacturers and their workers.
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