Thursday, May 5, 2011

I want to purchase 5 tires from China

From Industry Week:

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is pointing to Continental Tires' announcement on April 28 that they are building a new plant in the U.S. as an example of trade laws working.


In September, 2009 the Obama Administration imposed duties on surging imports of subsidized tires from China. The three-year plan was designed to provide relief for U.S. tire manufacturers under Section 421 of U.S. trade law, the first time the law had been used since its inception, the group noted.

Only one year after the import duties were applied, a study by AAM found that the U.S. tire industry had already reversed a significant decline. Sales were up, and workers were being hired.


I need to buy some new tires for the truck.  Two would be nice, since the ones up front are about a month away from having steel belt poking through. 
A sane person would go ahead and replace the back ones also.  They would never pass an inspection. 
Most normal humans would go ahead and purchase a new spare.  Don't ask about the condition of my spare. 

Most of my tire budget is going to Texas A and M University, in College Station, where my little Aggie is laboring to become a critter doctor.  So I need a really good deal on tires. 

China makes some good tires, and is willing to subsidize my purchase of their tires.  China wants to get me the best possible deal on five tires !!! 

China's government subsidizes Chinese manufacturing in a number of ways.  As far as I can tell, they don't go so far as to cut checks to manufacturers, the way our silly government does for ethanol producers, farmers, or producers/researchers of ridiculous "green" products, but they help out with manipulating the RMB, import/export laws and quotas, and the like. 

I think I should be allowed to purchase five Chinese tires at the lowest price possible.  I want to call one of my friends in Xiamen, tell him what I'm looking for, and have him throw five of those bad boys on the next shipping container coming my way.  I want to swap some pieces of paper with Benjamin Franklin's picture on them for five tires.  The deal doesn't need to involve Barack Obama, George Bush, John Boehner, Goodyear, Firestone, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Commerce, or a gaggle of theologians asking "Where Would Jesus Shop?"

And those pics of Ben Franklin?  There's only one place where they eventually come home to be spent.  Trade deficits are based on totally bogus numbers.  I run a huge trade deficit at the Starbuck's where I'm writing this, BTW.....

I also want to purchase a new suit.  And if The Men's Wearhouse sells a suit for $800, but Joseph A. Bank has decided to take a loss on the same suit and sell thousands of them at a loss for $400, I'm going to buy the suit from Joseph A. Bank. 

But what of the jobs lost at The Men's Wearhouse? 

Most of us would say that The Men's Wearhouse needs to change its ways, or get ready to go out of business.  Or we would purchase $400 suits from Joseph A Bank until Joseph A Bank went bankrupt. The health of either organization is a secondary consideration to getting a good deal on some clothing. 

When I shop in Dallas, I don't worry about the impact of money not being spent in Fort Worth. 
Ditto for when I shop in Mississippi.  I don't want to pay an extra import tariff on things I bring across the Vicksburg bridge, just to keep it fair for East Fort Worth.  
If I want to bring a bottle of tequila, a silly hat, three tasteless T-shirts and a box of Cuban cigars back from a vacation in Mexico, its nobody's business but mine. 
The same thing goes for Chinese tires.  They should cross borders at the same tax/duty rate as everything else produced anywhere else. 

This would cause some discomfort for American politicians and bureaucrats who earn their living by selling exemptions and exceptions to the rules. 
This would eventually bankrupt China.  Or China would quickly learn not to imitate the U.S. - subsidizing pet political constituencies.  Whichever came first. 

I choose Kroger over Albertson's whenevr Kroger has the best deal on Campbell's soup and Michelob Ultra. 

All this, despite Kroger NEVER EVER using my shipping and freight services.  I have a massive trade deficit with Kroger, but I still shop with them.  Am I a silly person, or what? 

Why are we not allowed to make the same choice with everything else? 

The picture of the worn out tire came from here. 

1 comment:

Harper said...

If I want to bring a bottle of tequila, a silly hat, three tasteless T-shirts and a box of Cuban cigars back from a vacation in Mexico, its nobody's business but mine.

That is almost exactly the list of purchases that I declare at the border, showing a heap of inane items to divert from the stash of antibiotics I am smuggling. When you are allergic to cillin and mycin antibiotics, there is little other affordable alternative than the occasional border crime.