Chinese officials lambasted the decision, accusing the U.S. of engaging in protectionism and violating World Trade Organization rules. They argued that the U.S. tire industry had long ago abandoned the low-end market that China covets and said Chinese tire imports had increased only 2.2% between 2007 and 2008, state media reported.
By announcing the probe of U.S. imports, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce signaled that it was prepared to challenge Obama’s decision.
“Recently, the commerce ministry has received word from domestic industries indicating that [chicken and auto] products had entered our nation’s markets via dumping, subsidies and other unfair trade means,” the ministry said on its website, giving no details about the specific products.
James Zimmerman, a partner in the law firm of Squire Sanders & Dempsey in Beijing, recently told the Los Angeles Times, “American business in China should be prepared for what might be a zealous retaliatory response from China, which might impact a broad range of U.S. commercial interests.” Just what we need.