Why the U.S.-China Trade Spat Won't Escalate

Whenever Washington and Beijing become embroiled in a trade row, there's always a fear it will escalate. But some Western economists say the likelihood that President Barack Obama's decision on Sept. 11 to slap a 35% anti-dumping tariff on Chinese tire exports will lead to a protectionist trade war looks small. China waited two days before announcing on its Ministry of Commerce Web site probes into dumping and subsidies of chicken and auto parts from the U.S. And it's likely to move cautiously for fear of poisoning the waters in advance of a bilateral meeting scheduled between Chinese president Hu Jintao and Obama in New York next week in advance of the G-20 meetings in Pittsburgh.

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