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The Obama administration has filed an unfair trade complaint against China with the World Trade Organization for imposing duties on U.S. auto imports:
China in December imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain SUVs, claiming that U.S. taxpayer support of the two automakers amounted to a government subsidy that was illegal under WTO rules. The Obama Administration disputes that claim.

The duties cover more than 80 percent of U.S. auto exports to China, or about 92,000 vehicles. They add 15 percent to the price of an imported Jeep Wrangler or Detroit-made Jeep Grand Cherokee, 21.8 percent to a Buick Enclave and Cadillac CTS produced in Lansing, and 4.1 percent to an Acura TL sedan made by Honda of America Manufacturing Co. at Marysville, Ohio.

According to the Toledo Blade, if the dispute is not settled within 60 days, the U.S. can request a WTO dispute settlement panel. Less than a month ago, the U.S. won a judgment that China had imposed illegal tariffs on American steel. But these aren't the only ways the Obama administration is seeking to protect American manufacturing jobs by curbing China's duties on American products and subsidies of its own products. Additionally:
It has brought trade actions against imports of Chinese passenger-vehicle and light-truck tires. And the United States has brought actions against China's export restraints on rare earth minerals used in manufacturing, restrictions on electronic payment services, and subsidies to China's wind power equipment sector.

In May, the administration moved to place a 31 percent tariff on solar panels made in China, saying Chinese producers had dumped solar cells and panels in the United States for less than it cost to manufacture and ship them. The Toledo area is a center for research into, and manufacturing of, solar panels.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has on the one hand criticized President Obama for being insufficiently tough on China, and, on the other hand, wrote in his 2010 book No Apologies that "President Obama’s action to defend American tire companies from foreign competition may make good politics by repaying unions for their support of his campaign, but it is decidedly bad for the nation and our workers." However Romney thinks the U.S. should deal with China itself on any given day, though, his basic jobs creation plan as president would be to make the U.S. more like China.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 09:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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