Americans are used to hearing complaints about allegedly unfair Chinese trade practices, but apparently two can play at that game and China has now decided to impose anti-dumping tarriffs on American carmakers. The biggest hit will be taken by General Motors which is facing tarriffs of up to 22 percent on its SUVs, but Chrysler’s also looking at a 15 percent charge, and BMW (which makes cars for sale to China largely in the United States) is looking at a modest 2 percent fee. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan is, naturally, apoplectic and has issued a call urging “the administration to take whatever actions are necessary through the WTO and any other available means to protect U.S. workers and manufacturers from China’s efforts to make an end-run around the global trade system.”
Levin’s China-related trade grievances are, of course, longstanding including condemnations of their currency manipulation and allegations that they export counterfeit electronic parts. China’s move is, it seems, designed to remind American politicians that two (or more) can play at the trade war game.