Saturday, September 12, 2009

US Administration fails Trade Litmus Test

via Greg Mankiw, from the AP:

Obama to impose tariffs on Chinese tires
President Barack Obama on Friday slapped punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires entering the United States from China in a decision that could anger the strategically important Asian powerhouse but placate union supporters important to his health care push at home.
I can't say it is terribly surprising based on some of the policy decisions in the last several months. I would however quibble with the AP's throwaway comment that somehow this decision was necessary for union support on healthcare given how aggressive they have been at pushing the healthcare bill on their own (Patterico). In what amounts to a de facto tax grab for unions, it is consumers who will bear the greatest costs.

Curiously, I note that this was released on the Friday night of a shortened week. It is a long standing tradition that organizations release bad news on Friday nights in hopes that people will forget by Monday morning. Unfortunately, the costs of a policy like this will live on long after. I simply hope that consumers will remember just as long.

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