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September 24, 2009
Obama rebuffed by trade court on Chinese tire tariffs
One would hope that the President - declared brilliant by so many, with his Harvard Law Review Presidency and his part-time teaching at the University of Chicago Law School - might have a better sense of the legality of his actions. In fact, he has a career of failing to understand basic principles of law.
The latest example: his imposing of tariffs on Chinese tires. The move benefited his union supporters in important electoral states. They were also wrong, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of International Trade.
China applauded a U.S. court decision that ruled against the U.S. Commerce Department's imposition of dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Chinese off- road tires.
Hebei Starbright Tire Co., one of the Chinese producers affected by the tariff decision made last September, challenged the Commerce Department at the U.S. Court of International Trade, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its Web site today. The court ruled that the decision may involve "double- counting" of tax rates, according to the Chinese ministry.
The ruling "is undoubtedly a breakthrough for Chinese companies who are fighting against U.S. protectionism and who are seeking fair treatment," the ministry said. The tariffs are "unfair" and hurt Chinese companies, it said.
The U.S. has slapped tariffs on Chinese steel products and tires in the past month, leading China to demand talks. China last September filed a World Trade Organization complaint over duties imposed on U.S. imports of Chinese steel pipes, off-road tires and laminated woven sacks, saying the levies violated trade rules.
President Obama has a history of making precipitous moves that tend to embarrass and weaken America. In this case, he alienated the Chinese (who now have announced - perhaps in retaliation - that will they examine their own imports of American goods) while accomplishing little, aside from burnishing his own electoral chances. Did he even bother sending his minions to research the issue before slapping on tariffs? Does the man do his homework?