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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. Tariffs On Chinese Tire Imports

VZCZCXRO4758
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #2626 2570935
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140935Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6047
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS BEIJING 002626

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/CM, EAP/PA, EAP/PD, C
HQ PACOM FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR (J007)
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR OPRC CH

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S. TARIFFS ON CHINESE TIRE IMPORTS

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Editorial Quotes
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1. U.S. TARIFFS ON CHINESE TIRE IMPORTS

"Special protective case puts Obama in an embarrassing situation"

The Beijing-based newspaper sponsored by official intellectual
publication Guangming Daily and Guangdong Provincial official
publication Nanfang Daily The Beijing News (Xin Jing Bao)(09/14)(pg
A03): "President Obama seems to be losing steam a bit: his
healthcare reform plan has aroused opposition all around and his
decision to take punitive measures against Chinese tire imports has
shown his inclination towards protectionism. His popularity has
been a double-edged sword since people have extremely high
expectations of him. Nonetheless, the Bush administration left
Obama a messy situation, which will require a long time and a lot of
effort to fix. Obama also underestimated potential difficulties; he
obviously did not expect such broad and strong opposition [to his
policies]. Obama's political future is worrying since he has bet it
all on healthcare reform. In the eyes of many American people,
Obama's economic stimulus measures were largely unsuccessful. Once
the full impact of the tire case is felt on U.S.-China relations,
the U.S. economy, which is on the verge of recovery, could sink back
into the wintertime of economic recession. In fact, this issue
shows Obama's insufficient preparation for the presidency and his
failure to understand the financial crisis."

"The United States sets a bad precedent"

The official Communist Youth League China Youth Daily (Zhongguo
Qingnianbao)(09/14)(pg 1): "U.S. President Barak Obama has stated
many times since he took office that the U.S. firmly opposes
protectionism. However, when it came to the U.S.-China tire trade,
he betrayed his promise. Cutting off high quality but inexpensive
Chinese tire imports during an economic recession is a blow to
American consumers. It also hurts American auto dealers, who long
ago abandoned the low-end of this industry and will have to look for
replacements from other countries. It is also unfair for Chinese
tire companies to be discriminated against simply for trading
normally with the U.S. With an economic recession and protectionist
policies, the United States, the previous champion of free trade,
has instead become an adversary of free trade. By coming up with
excuses for its protectionist policies, the U.S. will negatively
influence free trade and the Doha round of global trade
negotiations. The tire case is not a simple trade dispute, but
rather a reflection of the U.S. stance and credibility on
protectionism. It affects the prospects for free trade and the
progress of economic recovery. The 'wrong signal' sent by the U.S.
will put it in a disadvantageous situation."

"Obama sets precedent in 'punishing China'"

The official Xinhua News Agency international news publication
International Herald Leader (Guoji Xianqu Daobao)(09/14)(pg 12):
"The U.S.-China tire trade is worth over $2.2 billion and affects
the livelihood of over 100,000 Chinese tire workers. This has been
the number one trade dispute between the U.S. and China since Obama
took office, and is seen as a major test of Obama's trade policy due
to its significant implications. Shen Jiru, a researcher at the
China Academy of Social Sciences, said that Obama's decision was
informed by U.S. domestic politics. Obama is unwilling to lose the
support of the labor unions. Along with the rise of U.S.
protectionism, 'Made in China' products have become a target and a
card played by some politicians for political gain. Although Obama
has expressed support for increasing U.S.-China trade and he
decreased the punitive tariffs to certain extent, for the Chinese
tire industry even five percent is hard to take, let alone 35%.
Song Hong, Director of the International Trade Office at the China
Academy of Social Sciences' Global Economic and Political Studies
Institute, argued that China should take countermeasures in case
other countries implement similar measures against Chinese goods.
The tire case is undoubtedly a symbolic indication of Obama's trade
policy towards China since it was a decision made directly by the
President. A well-known American think tank said that aggressive
U.S. actions will have a far-reaching impact on Sino-U.S. trade
relations and will lead to explosive trade disputes between the two
countries in the future. Experts in the tire industry added that
Obama's decision means the U.S. government has changed its previous
stance on special protective cases, which will surely encourage
other U.S. industries to take similar measures. As a result, it
will seriously influence the steady development of U.S.-China
economic and trade relations."


HUNTSMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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