Viewpoint: Chinese Tire Tariff

Many of the things we buy are no longer made in the USA anymore. They seem to be made in china. And china is making plenty of tires that are being sold in American stores.

As more tires come from China, it seems to correspond with increased U.S. tire job losses. And we know all too well about that, as Cooper vacates Eat Albany, taking good-paying jobs to Mississippi.

President Obama has now imposed a 35% tariff on tires from China, which pleases American tire makers, and the United Steelworkers union, which filed a trade complaint over the Chinese tires.

But raising the price of foreign tires may please one of the president's core support groups, labor unions; it artificially makes them cost more for Americans who want to buy them.

It also angers the Chinese, who are members of the World Trade Organization, just as America is, and the Chinese hold and enormous amount of Uncle Sam's debt.

China has ways to fight back, including dumping U. S. bonds, which lowers their value, and slapping their own tariffs on America poultry, which is a rare bright spot for the U. S. trade imbalance.

In the short term, tariffs may make some of us feel better, and protect the paychecks of some in specific industries.

But in the long run, stiff tariffs on foreign goods are seen as protectionism by the rest of the world. Protectionism stifles competition, and makes everything cost more.

The president is trying to strike a very delicate balance with his new tire tariffs, and he needs to be very careful dealing with the Chinese.