Sept 17 - The U.S. is filing a trade complaint against China alleging it pays unfair subsidies to its auto industry. China has retaliated with a complaint of its own. Analysts disagree whether the move was simply presidential politics or business, as usual. Jeanne Yurman reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NBC MATERIAL - NO ACCESS USA/CNN/YAHOO/AOL/WIRELESS** PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL The world's two biggest economies are locking horns over trade...again. President Obama, in a campaign speech Monday in Ohio - a state with strong ties to the auto industry - confirmed the U.S. was filing a trade complaint with the World Trade Organization against China for subsidizing the country's auto and auto parts companies. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is not right. It is against the rules and we will not let it stand." China, catching wind of the U.S. move, filed its own grievance about U.S. tariffs on products ranging from steel to tires to chemicals and appliances. Many analysts say the U.S. complaint has merit but those like Nariman Behravesh of IHS question the motive. NARIMAN BEHRAVESH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, IHS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This is pure politics. The timing of this particular move; the fact that the president is going to announce it in Ohio suggests that, in fact, you know that this is supposed to swing Ohio to the president." Others say it's not political. Every day the U.S. is losing jobs due to subsidies and other illegal practices. Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute: ROSS EISENBREY, V.P. ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It could have happened earlier. I'm glad that it's happening now and that waiting any longer would have been bad for U.S. workers." China's softening economy may cause it to harden its stance to protect its lifeblood -- exports. Yet, experts do not expect an all-out trade war. NARIMAN BEHRAVESH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, IHS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I have to say that I suspect a calmer sort of minds will prevail here. The U.S. really doesn't want to get into a trade war with China and China really doesn't want to get into a trade war with the U.S." Most likely the two sides will hash out issues behind closed doors over months, even years. Though amid presidential politics, odds are there will be a lot of hot air and rhetoric between now and November. Jeanne Yurman, Reuters.