Out of curiosity, doesn't the Chinese hold the majority of the US debt?
This is according to CNBC-
3. China (Mainland)
The buzz word in the market for US debt is China. The world’s most populous country is also the largest and most important international buyer of US debt. From June 2008 to it's all-time high in May 2009 of $801.5 billion, China had raised its stake in US debt by over $266 billion. Receding back to $776.4 billion in June, China’s holdings were still up $241.3 billion from a year earlier. Hong Kong, which is not included in China's total, holds an additional $99.8 billion.
Don't you think the article below would piss them off? As you can tell by the button on my side bar I don't give a flying rip about unions and I am sick and tired of Presidents and lawmakers catering to these people. They run perfectly good companies into the ground. I've seen it and am witnessing it now. It makes me sick. I hate them.
Obama Administration Slaps Tariffs on Chinese Auto Imports
Obama had until Sept. 17 -- next week -- to accept, reject or modify a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that a rising tide of Chinese tires into the U.S. hurts American producers
Friday, September 11, 2009
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WASHINGTON -- President Obama has 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.
Obama had until Sept. 17 -- next week -- to accept, reject or modify a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that a rising tide of Chinese tires into the U.S. hurts American producers. A powerful union, United Steelworkers, blames the increase for the loss of thousands of American jobs.
The federal trade panel recommended a 55 percent tariff in the first year, 45 percent in the second year and 35 percent in the third year. Obama settled on slightly lower penalties -- an extra 35 percent in the first year, 30 percent in the second, and 25 percent in the third, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.
"The president decided to remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry based on the facts and the law in this case," Gibbs said.
The decision was announced by the White House late Friday evening, a time when significant news often gets less attention because of the hour and the upcoming weekend.
The timing was awkward for another reason, coming as U.S. officials are working with the Chinese and other nations to plan an economic summit of the Group of 20 leading rich and developing nations in Pittsburgh, to be held Sept. 24-25. China will be a major presence at the meeting, and the United States will be eager to show it supports free trade.
Many of the nearly two dozen world leaders Obama is hosting have made strong statements critical of countries that protect their key industries. Obama, too, has spoken out strongly against protectionism, and other countries will view his decision on tires as a test of that stance.
Governments around the world have suggested the United States talks tough against protectionism only when its own industries are not threatened. U.S. rhetoric on free trade also has been questioned because of a "Buy American" provision in the U.S. stimulus package.
The decision could have ramifications in other high-priority areas, too.
The White House badly needs Chinese help to confront climate change, nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea and global economic turmoil. China is the world's third-largest economy and a veto-holding member of the United Nations Security Council.
Beijing says the duties would be a violation of global free-trade principles and has complained about U.S. protectionism.
And Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association, which opposes the tariff, said it would not save American jobs but only cause tire manufacturers to move production to another country with less strict environmental and safety controls, less active unions and lower costs than the United States.
At the same time, Obama needs support from unions -- also a key backer of the Democratic Party in elections -- as he makes a high-stakes push for national health care legislation.
To reach a compromise on health care, Obama may need concessions from pro-labor Democrats who support a strong stand against China.
The steelworkers union brought the original case in April, accusing China of making a recent push to unload more tires ahead of Obama's expected action. The union says more than 5,000 tire workers have lost jobs since 2004, as Chinese tire overwhelmed the U.S. market.
The U.S. trade representative's office said four tire plants closed in 2006 and 2007 and three more are closing this year. During that time, just one new plant opened. U.S. imports of Chinese tires more than tripled from 2004 to 2008 and China's market share in the U.S. went from 4.7 percent of tires purchased in 2004 to 16.7 percent in 2008, the office said.
"When China came in to the (World Trade Organization), the U.S. negotiated the ability to impose remedies in situations just like this one," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said. "This administration is doing what is necessary to enforce trade agreements on behalf of American workers and manufacturers. Enforcing trade laws is key to maintaining an open and free trading system."
The new tariffs, on top of an existing 4 percent tariff on all tire imports, take effect Sept. 26.
Obama's action marks a shift from the Bush administration, which was routinely criticized for being too delicate in confronting Beijing's alleged trade violations. Obama promised during his presidential campaign that he would do it differently.
For the Chinese government, the tire dispute threatens an economic relationship crucial to China's economic growth. There was speculation before the decision that new tariffs could produce public pressure on Beijing to retaliate, potentially sparking a dangerous trade war.
Soaring Chinese imports of American chicken meat already have been mentioned by Chinese state media as a possible target. Beijing also could sell some of its extensive holdings of U.S. Treasury debt, which could unsettle markets.