What makes President Obama’s new tire tariff even more surprising as a policy move is the fact that many agricultural and manufacturing groups had urged the administration not to enact it.
Other industry groups had known about the potential tariff since the United Steelworkers Union had petitioned the administration for protection earlier this year.
They thus rightly feared China could retaliate quite quickly should the tariff happen.
Given the potential industry groups, and more specifically workers, the administration risks angering through this act of protectionism, it’s hard to see how the tire tariffs were a good idea, even politically. By standing up for one group of workers, they’ll end up hurting many more.
Thus the logic of the decision remains perplexing. Perhaps it was a flat-out mistake.