Obama plans WTO complaint against China

This picture taken on August 16, 2012, shows workers assembling a car in the Chang'an automobile factory in Beijing.

Jeremy Hobson: China has just filed a complaint against the United States at the World Trade Organization. It challenges U.S. tarriffs on everything from steel to paper. The move comes just as the Obama Administration is expected to file a trade complaint against China, which it says is unfairly subsidizing exports of cars and car parts. President Obama is expected to announce the complaint at a campaign event in Ohio today.

Our China bureau chief Rob Schmitz reports.


Rob Schmitz: Ohio sells a lot of auto parts. The industry makes up more than ten percent of all jobs in the state. But the number of auto parts jobs has been cut in half over the past decade. President Obama’s pointing his finger at China. The country’s given a billion dollars in subsidies the past couple of years for the export of cars and car parts.

Michael Dunne: What’s surprising is the timing. This has been happening now for many years. Why now? And why in Ohio?  

Could it be politics?

That’s what Michael Dunne wonders. He’s an expert on the auto industry in China. Dunne calls China’s billion dollars of subsidies a drop in the ocean for the auto industry. He says there’s no doubt auto parts workers are losing jobs to China. But...

Michael Dunne: How many of these exports from China are actually US companies based in China exporting back to the U.S.?

Dunne’s sure there are some, but he says that’s an issue President Obama may want to avoid on his trip through Ohio today.

In Shanghai, I’m Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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