China vs. the House of Representatives
Posted on Sep 29, 2010
Although the measure has almost no chance of passing the Senate, the House voted 348-79 to give President Obama the power to put tariffs on all Chinese imports. The legislative hissy fit is clearly intended to sate economically vulnerable voters who view China as a jobs threat.
New York Times:
The bill is unlikely to become law because the prospects for Senate approval are dim.
Nonetheless, the action was intended to hand President Obama additional leverage in what has become a major flashpoint between the world’s two largest economies. While tariffs have been slapped on specific products, from steel to tires, because of evidence of unfair export subsidies, the threat to put sizable tariffs on a country’s entire line exports to the United States is highly unusual — and, some argue, of dubious legality under international trade law. It reflects both election-year politics over jobs and huge frustration over unfulfilled promises by China to allow its currency to rise in value, which would make Chinese goods less competitive in the United States.
Flickr / Vinoth Chandar (CC-BY)