In its first 24 hours online, more than 1,000 people have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to head off a U.S.-China trade war by rejecting a Section 421 petition by the Steelworkers union to impose a three-year tariff on low-cost Chinese passenger tires imported into the country.
"The President must make his decision by Sept. 17, and we want to make sure he doesn’t do it based on the protectionist agenda of one union president who is determined to ignite a disastrous trade war with China," said Patrick Rosenstiel, executive director of the newly formed Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity, which is sponsoring the letter.
"The letter is one vehicle regular Americans can use to weigh in and support continued cooperation with China, so our farmers and manufacturers can continue to have access to the world’s single largest middle-class consumer market 350 million Chinese."
Rosenstiel said signatures are being forwarded to Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel every 48 hours.
The letter, which can be viewed at www.protecttrade.org/online.php, reads as follows:
We the undersigned strongly urge you to reject the U.S. Trade Commission’s recommendation under Section 421 of the 1974 Trade Act that you impose a three-year tariff (55%-45%-35%) on Chinese-made passenger tires imported into this country.
China is a friend and valuable partner on a wide range of energy, environmental, foreign policy and bi-lateral security initiatives vital to America’s national interests. Igniting a destructive trade war with our largest trading partner and investor will not bring back a single lost job in an entry-level tire manufacturing segment that left the U.S. years ago and can never be profitable here.
Rather, such a trade war will cost thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs and jobs on West Coast ports, devastate a rural economy that depends on commodity exports to China, and jeopardize your entire program of domestic initiatives, particularly health care reform.
For all these reasons, Mr. President, we respectfully urge you once again to reject proposed Section 421 sanctions against our friend and partner, China. (Tire Review)