World News Brief, Tuesday September 15

Trade tiff between US and China; victims of needle stabbings get all-clear; Iran to meet with international community; Russia to fund weapons for Venezuela; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S.-China Trade Dispute

China's commerce ministry took steps toward imposing tariffs (China Daily) on U.S. automotive and poultry exports, two days after U.S. President Barack Obama decided the United States would levy tariffs of up to 35 percent on Chinese-made tires. China launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidies investigations into U.S. chicken and automotive products, citing complaints from Chinese manufacturers that they entered Chinese markets with "unfair competition."

Obama's decision to impose the tariff is a sign that he will follow through on a pledge to labor unions to more strictly enforce trade laws, especially against China, the New York Times reports.

Chen Deming, China's minister of commerce, said the tariff increase violated World Trade Organization rules (FT) and "contravenes commitments the US government made at the [April] G20 financial summit."


Daniel Ikenson of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute says the negative impact of the tariffs on Chinese tires will outweigh any economic benefits, and warns that such policies could "unleash a protectionist backlash in the United States and around the world."

In a Financial Times op-ed, former assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs Charles Freeman says Obama's decision on tire tariffs could "play into a broader trend within China to roll back market-opening reforms."

An interactive CFR timeline tracks developments in the U.S.-China relationship since 1949.

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the Chinese auto industry, noting that China's car market is now the world's largest.

PACIFIC RIM: Xinjiang Attacks

Tests concluded that victims of a recent spate of stabbings with hypodermic needles in China's Xinjiang province have not been infected (Xinhua) with any dangerous viruses or chemicals. The stabbings sparked unrest, as the region's Han Chinese community felt it was the target of the attacks.


- Iran and international community to meet.
- Russia opens credit line for Venezuelan arms purchases.
- EU sanctions on Zimbabwe to continue.

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on