On the other hand, there are rules and regulations that nations agree to obey -- for example, rules and regulations set out by the WTO. No rule is iron-clad, and there's always some wiggle-room, but it appears that in these cases, China has clearly crossed the line and needs to be called out.
Does it make a difference that America's complaints to the WTO are being filed in an election year? Are they political moves designed to help the Obama campaign?
As far as the tariffs on U.S. vehicle exports to China are concerned, we'll let that one slide. China debuted that tax last December, so the Obama administration's response necessarily came during the campaign season.
Regarding subsidies for Chinese exporters, though, we're a little less forgiving. Those subsidies debuted three years ago, and the Obama administration will officially announce its new WTO complaint today, at a campaign stop in Ohio -- a state that depends heavily on the automotive industry.
It's possible that it took the feds a lot of time to make their case. But making the announcement in a key swing state less than two months before the election seems a bit...calculated.
Then again, what isn't these days?
Have an opinion about China's tactics or U.S. efforts to counter them? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comment below.