Obama's 'creeping protectionism'

As if we don't have enough problems already, President Obama seems perfectly willing to start a trade war in the middle of a deep recession.

That's not all. As if to prove how truly dumb he is, our president wants to start a trade battle with China, according to Irving Seltzer of the Weekly Standard:

Avoidance of trade talk would most especially suit the American delegation: when the leaders meet in Pittsburgh on September 24-25 the last thing President Obama wants is a discussion of his position on trade. He has so far managed to talk the talk of free trade while walking the protectionist walk that appeals to his trade union backers. He would like to keep it that way.

Unfortunately for him, he won't be able to do that, having just come down on the side of the protectionists. The Obama team makes it a practice of releasing announcements of which they are not particularly proud on weekends, when they get buried under sports news and the commentariat are out of town. So they held off until late Friday announcing that the President has imposed a 35 percent tariff on low-grade car tires imported from China. The International Trade Commission (ITC) had responded to a complaint by the United Steelworkers Union (tire workers are members of that union) that Chinese imports have cost them 5,000 jobs by recommending tariffs of 55 percent. Significantly, U.S. tire manufacturers did not join in the complaint: they lose money at the low-end of the tire market, and most have simply abandoned it to the Chinese. Whether Obama will claim that 35 percent is so far below 55 percent that his free trade credentials remain intact is doubtful: even by his standards, that would be a brazen attempt to conceal his capitulation to the trade unions.

So, let's get this straight. The president is putting a 35% tariff on tires that American manufacturers no longer make because they are unprofitable but unions want the tariff because they are losing jobs by not making products that we don't manufacture anyway?

Bill Clinton, coming as he did from a right to work state, was not half of supportive of labor unions than Obama appears to be. Of course, it helps when unions handed Obama $600 million in donations and in-kind contributions to help elect him.

Now, Obama is in payback mode. And there doesn't appear to be any issue that he won't develop policies that cater to his union friends - even at the expense of the American economy.




As if we don't have enough problems already, President Obama seems perfectly willing to start a trade war in the middle of a deep recession.

That's not all. As if to prove how truly dumb he is, our president wants to start a trade battle with China, according to Irving Seltzer of the Weekly Standard:

Avoidance of trade talk would most especially suit the American delegation: when the leaders meet in Pittsburgh on September 24-25 the last thing President Obama wants is a discussion of his position on trade. He has so far managed to talk the talk of free trade while walking the protectionist walk that appeals to his trade union backers. He would like to keep it that way.

Unfortunately for him, he won't be able to do that, having just come down on the side of the protectionists. The Obama team makes it a practice of releasing announcements of which they are not particularly proud on weekends, when they get buried under sports news and the commentariat are out of town. So they held off until late Friday announcing that the President has imposed a 35 percent tariff on low-grade car tires imported from China. The International Trade Commission (ITC) had responded to a complaint by the United Steelworkers Union (tire workers are members of that union) that Chinese imports have cost them 5,000 jobs by recommending tariffs of 55 percent. Significantly, U.S. tire manufacturers did not join in the complaint: they lose money at the low-end of the tire market, and most have simply abandoned it to the Chinese. Whether Obama will claim that 35 percent is so far below 55 percent that his free trade credentials remain intact is doubtful: even by his standards, that would be a brazen attempt to conceal his capitulation to the trade unions.

So, let's get this straight. The president is putting a 35% tariff on tires that American manufacturers no longer make because they are unprofitable but unions want the tariff because they are losing jobs by not making products that we don't manufacture anyway?

Bill Clinton, coming as he did from a right to work state, was not half of supportive of labor unions than Obama appears to be. Of course, it helps when unions handed Obama $600 million in donations and in-kind contributions to help elect him.

Now, Obama is in payback mode. And there doesn't appear to be any issue that he won't develop policies that cater to his union friends - even at the expense of the American economy.