As the Democrats in Congress fret and fuss about "globalization," the Bush administration responds by moving to increase barriers to Chinese imports. The U.S. Court of International Trade released an important opinion yesterday concerning how the Commerce Department handles "unfair trade" complaints against China. This morning, "The administration of George W. Bush, escalating its trade dispute with China, announced ... that it would impose potentially steep tariffs on Chinese manufactured goods, with a move to protect American paper producers from unfair Chinese government subsidies.
The action reverses 23 years of U.S. trade policy by treating China, which is classified as a "nonmarket economy," in the same way that other U.S. trading partners are treated in disputes involving government subsidies."The ability to treat China "like other U.S. trading partners" also implies that we can look forward to rising tariffs on a lot of the manufactured goods we import from China.