how screwed the West will be if in fact the world goes go into “trade war” mode.
Well, here we are. The US International Trade Commission has just sided with US steelmakers in favouring duties on Chinese imports. Their bulletin is here.
On what basis are we slapping taxes on imported goods from one of our most important partners (and lenders)? Basically, cause world trade is though.
In the steel case, brought by U.S. steel manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union, the domestic industry has framed its case in terms of potential job losses — thousands of steel workers have been laid off or had their mills closed. In China, job losses have been few, as Chinese mills continue to operate despite weakened world demand.
Chinese steelmakers don’t dispute the losses of thousands of U.S. steel jobs, but they say the U.S. industry could have avoided the problems.
James Durling, the attorney representing Chinese steelmakers at the ITC hearing, said U.S. steelmakers are feigning injury to protect their market from competition. He said the mass layoffs could have been averted by tapping into the more than $3 billion in operating profits made during the boom, roughly from 2006 to late 2008.