The BBC reports that Barack Obama has just signed into law the creation of a new trade task force, which will be responsible for finding and targeting “unfair trade practices” by US trading partners. China is clearly the main target of this task force:
The US has also recently brought India before the WTO to force it to allow US meat producers to sell there. US meat produce is currently banned, supposedly due to Avian Flu concerns:
While China very clearly is manipulating its currency, I am personally very concerned about this new “task force”. It seems to complement FATCA perfectly: first the world’s banking system will be exposed to the US and now they will agressively nitpick all of the trading practices that they don’t like. I can’t comment on the India meat issue since I do not know the background behind the case, but I am worried that the US will try to force the EU to accept GM foods and crops (very controversial issue here). I imagine that they will continue their never-ending battle with Airbus as well. Seems like Apple is in trademark battles worldwide with Samsung, HTC and others – Maybe they’ll be” helping out” US companies to drag their competitors in court whenever the “foreign” product looks to overtake the US one.
What do you think? Is this a sign that the US is really getting desperate for cash/influence or is it a logical step towards reigning in actual “recalcitrant countries”? Personally I think that this is just an election tool for now and that this “trade force” will steer well clear of targeting China at first. I imagine that they’ll go after “the minnows” of the trading world world. Seems to be the US government’s preferred tactic: go after the little guy.