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Steve Chiotakis: Today a brewing trade spat between the United States and China falls on the official agenda in Washington. The U.S. trade representative is holding a hearing on tires. And, whether China exports too many to the U.S. From Shanghai, here’s Marketplace’s Scott Tong.
Scott Tong: On one side of this dispute is the United Steelworkers. They make the metal wiring that goes in tires. The union says a recent flood of made-in-China imports has “disrupted” the U.S. tire market and cost 5,000 American factory jobs. The steelworkers want quotas on Chinese tires, plus a 55 percent tariff. To China, that would equal protectionism. Xu Mingqi is with the Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences.
Xu MINGQI: This could become a symbolic case, and encourage more American companies and trade unions to introduce more of these kinds of cases against Chinese exports.
Should the White House play hardball, he expects China to retaliate against U.S. exports. AKA trade war. This is a tough call, since China is America’s largest foreign creditor. After today’s hearing, the U.S. trade representative will recommend to the president whether to impose the tariffs. And then the president makes the final decision, probably next month.
In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.
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