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Tightening screws, stripping threads – on the wrong screw

December 15, 2010

The American: U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk this week trumpeted the administration’s victory over China at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Describing a dispute settlement decision that upheld the legitimacy of U.S. tariffs on imported Chinese tires, Kirk said, “This is a major victory for the United States and particularly for American workers and businesses.”

This all started last year when the UAW (not the industry, the union) brought a suit over the price of tires from China. Unforunately, they forgot to look at what other countries make tires, and whether or not those countries are simply the outsource locale for China…Oops

“Altogether, then, the tariff seems to have shifted the sources of imports, with China shipping fewer tires and others more, but made little apparent change in total tire-trade or employment.”

Nice move guys. You tightened the screws AND stripped the proverbial threads by whining to the WTO – but it was the wrong screw to turn. Great work there

It wasn’t illegal. It was ineffective, short sighted & completely in ignorance of how a global economy works. Maybe the plumbers unions will have more luck – it’s hard to snake a drain in Topeka from Shanghai….

From the Washington Post – who also mentions the fact that no tire company asked the White House to intervene

Germany has shown that you can retain a manufacturing sector by producing products of high added value even when labor costs are correspondingly high…Germany is an export giant, while we are the colossus of imports.

Has he looked at German policy yet wrt corporate taxes?

Oh yeah – now THIS is more like it.

I’m with those who think that Obama could use a CEO on his economic team, but he or she should be a manufacturing CEO with a track record of creating American jobs and a plan for rebuilding American industry….. Obama needs to do more than just ask our CEOs to invest here. He needs to implement suggestions like Grove’s if we’re to rebuild American prosperity

Whether we agree with Grove or not – listening to someone who’s built a business before would be a good shift – a manufacturing guy can tell you which screw to tighten or loosen as a start….

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