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Tuesday, September 15, 2009
US - Obama's China Tariffs May be Prelude to Opening Trade
President Barack Obama’s decision to place tariffs on tires from China may be the opening move in a campaign for fewer trade barriers, based on the strategy used by his four predecessors. Obama announced duties Sept. 11 of 35% on US$1.8bn of automobile tires from China, acting on a complaint by the United Steelworkers union that surging imports were pushing US factory workers out of their jobs. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each took action to protect domestic industries early in their terms before making free trade a focus. Obama, like Clinton, has the added challenge of trying to satisfy trade-wary Democratic lawmakers and the unions that helped them win election. (Bloomberg)