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The Scope Of The Challenge

China’s Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) initiated officially on November 6, 2009 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into saloon and cross-country cars imported from the United States and manufactured by General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford Motor companies. Although the scope of the products at issue is described (chassis, engine, etc.) and defined according to tariff codes, the real scope of the petitions has little to do with saloon and cross-country (or sport utility) vehicles. The petitions upon which the investigations have been initiated may be the single most important documents in China-U.S. trade relations since the Chinese Protocol of Accession to the WTO. They are about competing models of economic and industrial development, and constitute a complaint against the American strategy for overcoming the financial crisis that dates from at least 2008. According to the Chinese petition, the United States, and the United States alone, caused the crisis. The Chinese contend that China is ascendant while the United States is declining, a statement as much of Chinese historical perspective as of legal rights and wrongs.

The selection of the Big Three American manufacturers, the timing, and the contents of the petitions, suggest that China, on the eve of President Obama’s first visit there, is going far beyond a trade remedy action concerning automobiles. Automobiles, however, may have been chosen as the target of the sweeping indictment, both because of vulnerability in the economic crisis, and because of their symbolism as the icon of American industrial dominance in the twentieth century. China is calling into question the American economic development model and the entire premise of American trade actions against China, advancing an argument that the U.S. automobile industry is failing and exposing the depth and breadth of American economic support for an exporting industry. Were the petitions to succeed, they would likely be the first of many against other U.S. exports to China.

The Chinese petitions challenge American definitions of market and non-market economies, and turn against the United States the subsidy policies and practices the United States has been applying to China. The Chinese petitions question the legitimacy of much of American trade policy toward China, while exposing great American vulnerability to trade remedy actions against American exports.

The petitions reach beyond trade policy. They question the U.S. Government’s energy and climate change policies by challenging government support for research and development into more energy efficient and less-polluting vehicles. As President Obama has placed research and development at the heart of the American economic recovery (and identified it with American global leadership), so China is now contending that state support for research and development is, according to Chinese law, the WTO, and implicitly American practice, a collection of countervailable subsidies.

There are many ironies in the Chinese decision to initiate a countervailing duty investigation based on the automobile petition, but perhaps the greatest is in the agreement reached a few days after initiation by Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao, in mid-November. They announced a cooperative effort specifically for the development of electric vehicles, and both committed significant R&D funds. Yet, China began investigating, ten days before President Obama’s visit, whether American subsidies for the development of electric vehicles violate WTO obligations. The Chinese petition contends that an American competitor, Tesla, in the nascent electric vehicle market, has been receiving funds (the petition alleges at least $465 million) from the federal government under several programs. The petition also identifies electric vehicle development funds to the Big Three, alleging $5.9 billion to Ford alone.

The excuse for the allegations against electric vehicles is the fungibility of money, which is an argument that has been used in the past by the U.S. Commerce Department that says any funds given to a company, for whatever purpose, may contribute to production and export of subject merchandise by relieving other sources of funds. There is no excuse offered, however, for the discussion of Tesla, which is not one of the Big Three, not a manufacturer of subject merchandise, and therefore not a respondent. Nor is there an explicit acknowledgement that electric cars are a different product not subject to the petition.

Warned But Oblivious

In December 2008, we warned the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) of a potential Chinese action such as this one. USTR, under the Bush Administration, had solicited comments on how the United States should treat alleged Chinese subsidies. We advised that, since September 15, 2008, it was no longer possible to continue business as usual. The United States, in response to the global financial crisis, was subsidizing banks and encouraging loans to uncreditworthy companies at below market rates. Banks were becoming state-owned, even if temporarily, in all but name. The United States was also acquiring significant equity positions in the automobile industry through massive cash infusions.

Even were the petitions to be taken entirely at face value – that they were prepared by a private industry association and reviewed by MOFCOM for a subsequent government decision whether to initiate investigations in response to a private request – MOFCOM’s notices of initiation imply acceptance of the petitions as to the credibility of most of the allegations. The petitions, therefore, are plausibly statements of MOFCOM’s views on a variety of subjects critical to U.S.-China relations.

The petitions appear to have been used as an opportunity for China to offer a comparative history of economic development, of industry in general and the automobile industry, the American icon, in particular. This Chinese version argues that the American automobile industry had every possible advantage in global markets over the last century, that China’s industry has been developing quickly, first with foreign help but more recently of its own accord, and that the United States’ efforts to save its automobile industry cannot come at the expense of China.

Loosely tied to the petitions’ comparative history of economic development is a contemporary conclusion. The petitions allege that “the U.S. subprime crisis escalated suddenly and ballooned into a global financial crisis.” (Elsewhere, the petition complains, “since the broke out [sic] of economic crisis aroused by the United States sub-loan crisis.”) This critical commentary, like the comparative economic history, is irrelevant to the subsidy and dumping allegations, but appears to be an unvarnished Chinese view of why the United States is today in China’s debt. It is a commentary that unashamedly connects economic and industrial policy to allegations of unfair trade, without hesitating to accuse the United States of pursuing a state-driven “industrial policy,” while implicitly denying its own.

Even the terms of reference equate American policy with Chinese language: the petitioners found President Obama referring to the automobile as a “pillar industry” of the American economy, a favorite Chinese term frequently noted by the U.S. Department of Commerce when, focusing on Chinese central planning, it assumes a link of plans to actions and accuses the state-driven Chinese economy of massive subsidies.

It is possible that neither President knew the details of the automobile petitions when they met shortly after investigations were initiated and they agreed to cooperate in the development of electric vehicles. There had been bilateral consultations as mandated by the WTO before initiation of a subsidies investigation, and the United States Trade Representative had summoned the Big Three manufacturers to a meeting, but the United States has not exported electric cars to China and the subject of the investigation is saloon cars and sport utility vehicles. There was no reason, therefore, for either President to think that R&D support for the development of electric vehicles was a primary focus of the countervailing duty petition.

The agreement Presidents Obama and Hu reached on this subject is strange in the circumstances. In light of the agreement, there is little logic in pursuing the allegations, but China may have its own reasons for both, nearly simultaneous, actions.

A Petition More And Less Than Meets The Eye

According to the countervailing duty petition, China is second only to the United States worldwide in the purchase of automobiles. In the narrower classes of saloon and cross-country vehicles, the petition claims China imported 33,732 such vehicles from the United States in 2007, and 43,240 in 2008. Chinese total imports of these vehicles, however, grew from 234,493 to 299,132 during the same period. Thus, the Big Three represent, in shipping from the United States, less than 15 percent of China’s imports of the subject merchandise, and less than half of one percent of China’s total consumption.

The petition does not link systematically any injury being caused by these shipments to current Chinese manufacture and sale of these specific categories of vehicles. To the contrary, the petition acknowledges that China’s own production and consumption grew during the period of investigation, even as overall imports grew as well. Nor are the subsidy allegations focused on the subject merchandise, but rather refer to the entire automobile industry, and especially initiatives regarding energy efficiency and green technologies that are unrelated to the subject merchandise. The petition challenges almost every aspect of the economic recovery package, with a particular objection to Buy American provisions. But it does not narrow the subsidies analysis to the scope of the petition, complaining more generally about the automobile industry. In repeated recitations of the legal “specificity” standard, it treats automobiles as a specific industry, not the types of cars about which the petition complains.

The petition details two arguments for upstream subsidy investigations, although it does not expressly call for any, and Chinese regulations may not articulate how one might be done. After all, upstream subsidy investigations in the United States have been rare, with the Commerce Department loathe to do them. In a notable exception to practice, the Commerce Department undertook an upstream subsidy analysis in Hardwood Laminated Trailer Flooring from Canada and in February 1997 found no subsidy. There, the allegation was about Canadian stumpage, possibly the most controversial subsidies issue between Canada and the United States in the last twenty-five years. Here, the allegations focus on steel and on components for electric vehicles. Steel is perhaps the most contentious trade issue between China and the United States and likely will be the subject of more petitions in 2009 and early 2010. In both principal instances – stumpage with Canada, steel with China — an important motivation for the petition might have been to get at the upstream product. The attack on electric car inputs may reflect the U.S. objections in several subsidies cases brought against China regarding inputs from state-owned enterprises. The United States, however, has not deployed any upstream analyses.

It seems the petition, then, is not so seriously about saloon cars and SUVs. It may be more about preemptive strikes (electric vehicles; R&D) and retaliation on thorny disputes (steel). The petitions seem to contend that there is no material difference between the economic actions of governments in China and the United States, between market and non-market economies.

The petition is a first foray against multiple levels of American government (with four allegations concerning subsidies from the state of Michigan), perhaps a response to the now-frequent American complaints about Chinese regional and local government programs and planning. The petition, thus, is less than meets the eye: it is hard to take it too seriously as to the specific cars in question; and a great deal more than meets the eye: a resetting of the table for the treatment of the role of the state in the economy, for addressing American federalism, and in the future of energy efficiency and green technologies.

Possible Reverberations

There are many possible problems arising from this investigation. The United States has never before defended itself in China. China has never before sent investigators to examine U.S. books. No U.S. state has ever before submitted to a Chinese investigation, or participated in one. Although this petition has precipitated China’s third countervailing duty investigation against the United States, none has yet reached a preliminary determination, none has yet involved a verification with Chinese officials inspecting U.S. government books, and none has involved a state government. The U.S. automobile industry has not been subject to dumping or subsidies allegations before. Conducting the investigation will be new for China; responding to it will be new for Americans. It will require a sorting out of American federalism, and a new diplomacy for China.

Some have said that the investigation is retaliation for the tire safeguard. In its timing, this view seems attractive, but too much about it makes the theory implausible. The petition covers too much ground and is too broad an assault on the U.S., its trade and economic policies, to have been mere retaliation for a safeguard contemplated in the Accession Protocols. The timing is more notable for President Obama’s first visit to China than for the safeguard. It sets an agenda: affirmatively, market economy recognition; negatively, warnings on steel and electric vehicles.

There have been no reports suggesting any U.S.-China dialogue about the petition during President Obama’s visit. The United States may have chosen deliberately to say nothing, or it may not have reached the President’s attention in the planning of the visit. China, however, may take American silence on the subject as a first round of acquiescence to the charges, and the charges, formally lodged in a trade action, are the most serious China has brought against the United States since, at least, China’s accession to the WTO.

Other countries likely will watch this investigation closely. On the last day of his Asian tour, President Obama received from President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea agreement to reconsider the automobile dispute that is blocking finalization of a free trade agreement, but he did not receive agreement to reopen settled language in the pending treaty as sought by Congress. South Korea likely will be reinforced in its objections to the terms of the pending free trade agreement with the United States, as China intends to demonstrate massive subsidies to the U.S. automobile industry that ought to make South Korea reluctant to lower its barriers to U.S. cars.

Competing automobile industries, especially in Europe, which have been subsidized heavily during the financial crisis, may face future Chinese challenges. China may seek to clear its market, as implied in a petition that sees its industry ascendant.

China may have been anticipating American barriers to electric vehicles. The action brought, however, could now arguably make those barriers more likely. Tesla manufactures a luxury vehicle; China will seek to enter the U.S. with much more modest electric cars. Consequently, it may be difficult for Tesla, or any other U.S. manufacturer of electric vehicles, who may not yet have sold in the market when Chinese imports first arrive, to challenge Chinese electric cars. The Chinese petition, however, provides theories for challenging vehicles not yet in the market, including an attack on suppliers.

In Laminated Woven Sacks from China, the U.S. International Trade Commission found neither injury nor threat of injury to any American industry. Instead, it found that China’s industry was responsible for retarding the development of a U.S. industry. China did not contest this weakest of all possible injury allegations, enabling final affirmative determinations.

Chinese acquiescence could inspire a similar approach to electric vehicles. American petitioners might allege that Chinese imports are designed to kill off a nascent American industry. The petition could assure an American petition against Chinese electric cars that could complicate the efforts of both countries to develop new technologies for energy efficiency and environmental improvement. The petition is uncompromising and unforgiving as to American efforts to develop cleaner, more efficient automobiles.

The Chinese countervailing duty petition on automobiles could do more to change Chinese-U.S. trade relations than summits and presidential visits. Just as President Obama apparently did not pursue the frequent congressional complaint (and constant Bush Administration theme) regarding revaluation of Chinese currency, so China did not, apparently, assail publicly the United States as the source of the global financial crisis. Yet, President Obama was barely home before congressional committees called again for tough trade sanctions against China, including an attack on Chinese currency.

In a public document that forms the basis for a Chinese investigation of the United States, the current form of American capitalism is being put on trial. Consultations already have failed. No negotiations have followed. Unless national leaders contain the impulses of their respective Ministries (Departments) of Commerce, the trade war that the tires safeguard likely did not trigger may become inescapable. Each country will accuse the other of violating international trade rules in their respective pursuit of a cleaner and more energy efficient planet. Cooperation might threaten leadership. Without a swift settlement, China will be obliged to make its subsidies case, and the United States will not like it.

挑战的覆盖面

        中国商务部于2009年11月6日宣布立案对原产于美国,由通用、克莱斯勒和福特三大汽车公司生产的轿车和越野车展开反倾销、反补贴调查。虽然受调查产品被界定为包括底盘、发动机等主要部件,且附有关税编号,但真正受调查的产品却与小轿车和越野车没有太大关联。这份调查申请可能是中美贸易关系史上自签订《中国入世协定》以来最重要的文件。这份文件对存在竞争关系的不同经济、工业发展模型进行分析,是对自2008年以来美国走出金融危机的战略的抱怨。这份调查申请指责美国应对这次金融危机负责,而且只应由美国负责。中方认为中国逐渐壮大,同时美国渐趋衰微,这不仅是法律对错的分析,也是历史性回顾。

        选择三大美国汽车生产商、在奥巴马总统第一次访华前夕立案以及调查申请的内容都表明中国的醉翁之意不在于对汽车产品展开贸易救济行动。汽车产品被选为调查对象既因为这一产业在金融危机中异常脆弱,同时它也是20世纪美国工业霸权地位的象征。中国是对美国经济发展模式提出疑问,公开质疑美国针对中国采取的贸易行动;同时进一步证明中方认为美国汽车工业逐渐衰退的观点,揭露美国对这一出口产业资助的深度和广度。这份调查申请对美国提出的市场经济和非市场经济定义提出挑战,并以此攻击美国的补贴政策和对中国采取的贸易行动。中方质疑美国对华贸易政策的合理性,同时指出美国现在极其容易面对他国针对美国产品展开贸易救济行动。

        调查申请不仅仅对贸易政策提出质疑,同时亦对美国政府的能源、气候变化政策提出疑问,质询美国政府对研发能效更高、污染更小的交通工具给予的支持。奥巴马总统把研发视为美国经济复兴的核心,并把这视为美国全球领导地位的一部分;现在中国指出根据中国法律、世贸组织章程和美国实践,美国政府的研发支持其实是一系列不正当补贴。

        中国决定对汽车产品展开反补贴调查这一决定颇带讽刺意味。最具讽刺意义的是就在该案立案后不久,奥巴马总统和胡锦涛主席在11月中旬达成协议。两位国家领导人宣布双方将携手发展电动汽车,双方都将提供科研资金支持。但是,中国在奥巴马总统访华前十天宣布对美国的电动汽车发展补助展开反补贴调查,研究这些补助是否违背了美国的入世承诺。这份调查申请把美国Tesla公司视为成长中的电动汽车市场上的竞争对手,并指出Tesla从联邦政府获得四亿六千五百万美金的支持。这份调查申请同时列出三大汽车生产商从政府获得电动汽车开发资金,仅福特公司就获得59亿美金支持。

        中方指控沿用美国商务部曾使用的论点——给予某一企业的资金,不管初衷如何,都将减轻该企业对其他资金来源的依赖、有助于产品的生产和出口。但是不清楚为什么这份调查申请对Tesla展开讨论,Tesla不是三大汽车生产商之一、也不是受调查产品的生产商,因而也不是应诉企业。 同时调查申请也没有明确承认电动汽车属于另一类别产品,因此不在调查范围之内。

早被提醒但却置若罔闻

        2008年12月,我们提醒美国贸易代表办公室中国将采取类似行动。当时美国贸易代表办公室就应该如何处理面临指控的中国补贴征求公众意见。本所提出自2008年9月15日起,形势发生变化,因此不应照旧行事。面对全球金融危机,美国政府对银行提供补助、鼓励对信用不佳的企业提供低于市场利息的贷款。虽然名字未变,但银行已经变为国有。美国政府同时通过巨额资金输入变成汽车行业的大股东。

        仅从调查申请的表面价值来看,代表私营企业的行业协会准备、递交了这一调查申请,中国商务部审查并就企业要求做出行政决定,商务部的立案调查公告说明中国政府承认大多数指控的可靠性。因此,这份调查申请展示了中国商务部对众多涉案议题的看法。

        调查申请为中国提供了机会,对美国各行业经济发展、尤其是汽车工业发展史(这一标志性美国产业)进行比较研究。中方认为美国汽车工业在过去一个世纪里在国际市场上拥有所有可能拥有的竞争优势。中国的汽车工业首先在国外帮助下、近来主要依靠国内力量迅速发展;美国拯救本国汽车工业也不得不以牺牲中国为代价。

        和经济发展比较史松散地联系在一起的是现代结论。调查申请指控“美国次债危机迅速蔓延发展成全球金融危机。”这一批判性评论与经济发展比较史、反倾销、反补贴指控无关,但却是中国对拖欠中国巨额外债的美国最毫无修饰、最真实的观点。这一评论毫不害羞地把经济和工业政策与不公平贸易指控联系在一起,毫不犹豫地指控美国追求政府驱动的“工业化政策”,同时又间接否认中国采取这类政策。

        调查申请提及这些美国政策时都使用中式语言:奥巴马总统把汽车工业称作美国经济的“支柱行业”。美国商务部在研究中国中央规划时常常指出这是中国最喜欢使用的术语,这一术语显示计划和行动之间的关联、并指责受政府驱动的中国经济享受巨额补贴。

        很可能当两位国家领导人承诺合作发展电动汽车时,这一调查刚刚立案,他们都不了解调查申请细节。 根据世贸组织章程规定,反补贴案立案前必须展开双边磋商,美国贸易代表办公室也紧急会晤了三大汽车生产商。但是美国没有向中国出口电动汽车,调查的对象也仅仅是小轿车和越野车。因此两位领导人都未曾预料为发展电动汽车提供的研发支持竟成为反补贴调查的重点。

        这种情况下,奥巴马总统和胡锦涛主席就这一合作项目达成协议令人惊讶。当两国领导人宣布这一协定的同时,中国却指控美国的研发支持为不正当补助、对这一项目展开反补贴调查,这不符合逻辑。中国可能自有一套逻辑解释为什么几乎同时展开这两项行动。

调查的深层含义

        调查申请中提到中国仅次于美国,是世界第二大汽车消费市场。调查申请指出,在稍狭窄的轿车和越野车市场,2007年从美国共进口三万三千七百三十二辆,2008年进口了四万三千两百四十辆。同期,这两类车的总进口量从2007年的二十三万四千四百九十三辆上升至2008年二十九万九千一百三十二辆。因此三大汽车公司在美国生产、出口至中国的产品仅占这两类产品进口总量的百分之十五、不足这两类车总消费量的百分之零点五。

        调查申请未能系统地把进口和对国内生产、消费造成的损害联系起来。恰恰相反,调查申请虽然承认进口有所增长,却又指出中国国内生产、消费在受调查期间均稳步上升。调查申请中的补贴指控不是针对受调查产品,而是整个汽车行业,尤其是节约能耗和绿色科技项目。调查申请针对经济复兴计划的每个项目的每一方面逐一攻击,尤其是购买美货条款。补贴分析却未能缩小着眼点、集中于调查针对的产品,相反却泛泛攻击整个汽车行业。调查申请反复引用“特定”这一法律术语,但却把汽车工业视为特定产业,而不是将特定一词与受调查产品联系在一起。

        调查申请没有要求对上游产业补助展开调查,中国法规可能也没有规定如何展开调查,但是却对两项上游产业补助展开详尽展述。即使在美国,对上游产业补助展开调查也不多见,美国商务部极其厌恶调查上游产业补助。1996年美国商务部不同寻常地在加拿大复合木地板一案中对上游产业补助展开调查,但并未发现不正当补助。在这一案件中,上游产业补助调查针对加拿大的伐木收费——这大概是美加两国在过去25年里最备受争议的补助指控了。中国调查指控聚焦于钢铁和电动汽车部件。钢铁或许是美中两国最紧张的贸易领域,未来一、两年内将有更多针对这类产品的贸易案件。在这两个案件中——加拿大伐木收费和中国钢铁——调查的重要动机是对上游产品展开行动。对电动汽车部件的控诉可能是针锋相对、对美国在多个反补贴案件中对中国国有企业提供的原料展开调查所采取的行动。但是美国尚未部署上游产业补助分析。

        这份调查申请似乎并非针对小轿车和越野车。相反,它是针对电动汽车、科研投资的防范性攻击,对中国钢铁等产品展开调查的报复行动。这份调查申请似乎认定中美两国政府的经济行动之间并没有本质差别,虽然一个是市场经济国家,另一个是非市场经济国家。

        同时,这也是中方第一次针对不同级别的美国政府进行攻击(其中四项指控针对米歇根州政府),这大概是为还击美方反补贴调查申请对中国的省及地方政府计划和政策提出控诉。所以,不仅应关注这份调查申请传达的表面信息——它并非针对调查申请中提到的汽车产品,同时亦应挖掘视野之外的信息——为重新评估政府在经济活动中的作用提供论坛、为未来针对高能效和绿色科技采取行动准备。

可能引发的反响

        这一调查可能产生许多问题。美国从未在中国应对反补贴调查,中国也从未派调查员前往美国检验原始文件。美国各州从未面临中国的反补贴调查,也未曾参与任何调查。 美国汽车从未面临任何倾销或补贴指控。主持调查对中国而言是全新事务,应对调查对美国而言也是陌生领域。中国将需要深入了解美国联邦体制,采取全新外交政策。

        一些人士提到这一调查是对421轮胎特保案的报复。这一观点难以令人信服。这一调查申请涉及面甚广、全方面攻击美国经贸政策,因此不仅仅是针对中国入世协议框架下的特保案的报复。这一案件的时机十分引人注目,更是针对奥巴马总统第一次访华而不是轮胎特保案。中国旨在设立讨论议题:正面意义,中国希望美国承认中国的市场经济地位;负面意义,对美国钢铁和电动汽车产业的警告。

        媒体报道显示在奥巴马总统访华期间,中美并未讨论这一案件。美国可能故意选择避开这一话题;也许在准备总统访华时,这一案件并未提升至需要引起总统重视的程度。但是,中国可能把美国的沉默视为对这些指控的默认;而这些指控是中国自加入世贸组织以来对美国最严厉的指控。

        其他国家将会密切关注这一调查。在奥巴马总统亚洲之行的最后一站,南韩总统李明博允诺奥巴马总统他将重新考虑阻碍两国签订自由贸易协定的汽车纠纷,但他并未答应重新商定协定包含的汽车条款、实现美国国会的愿望。 当中国展示美国对汽车产业提供巨额补助时,韩国肯定也不愿意降低针对美国汽车设置的贸易障碍,这样中国进一步巩固了韩国在美韩自由贸易协定中的立场。

        竞争激烈的汽车产业在金融危机中获得巨额补助,尤其在欧洲,它们可能将面临中国盘问。就像调查申请暗示的那样,当本国产业逐渐成长时,中国可能开始清理汽车市场。

        中国可能预见美国将对电动汽车出口至美国设置障碍。但是中方现在采取的行动增强了贸易障碍产生的可能性。Tesla 生产豪华车,中国则希望向美国出口稍低档次的电动汽车。Tesla以及其他生产电动汽车的美国生产商看到现在自己尚未向中国出口电动汽车,但是中国电动汽车却首先抵达美国市场,因此他们很可能采取行动刁难中国电动汽车。中国的调查申请为盘问尚未投入市场的汽车提供了理论依据,包括攻击供货商。

        在针对中国产复合编织袋展开的反补贴调查中,美国国际贸易委员会既没有发现美国产业受损,也没有发现损害威胁。该委员会只发现中国复合编织袋将阻碍美国产业发展。中国未对这一初裁提出异议,最终导致不利终审裁决。

        中国的默认可能促使美方对中国电动汽车采取类似行动。美国申请调查的企业可能指控中国产品将摧毁初生的美国电动汽车工业。同时,这一调查申请一定会促发美方对中国电动汽车采取贸易行动,这将使中美共同发展高能效、环保技术的合作变得复杂。这一调查申请对美国发展清洁能源、高能效汽车持敌对态度。

        中国对美国汽车展开反补贴调查将比双边首脑会议更深刻地影响中美贸易关系。和布什总统一样,奥巴马总统此次没有听从国会意见就人民币汇率向中国施压,中国也没有攻击美国是此次世界金融危机的根源。但是,奥巴马总统还未返回华盛顿,国会小组已经要求对中国采取更严厉的贸易制裁,包括针对人民币采取行动。

        作为中国对美国采取反补贴调查的基础,这份公开文件审判了美国资本主义。双边磋商失败了,也没有进一步磋商。除非两国领导人遏制两国商务部长的冲动,轮胎特保案没有激发的贸易战变得不可避免。两国将在追求更清洁、更节能的地球的同时互相指责对方违背世界贸易法。如果不立即解决这一纠纷,中国将不得不做出反补贴裁决,美国当然将不悦。

(翻译:朱晶)