A Protectionist President?

Given the caliber of President Obama's economic team, I have remained somewhat hopeful the Administration would avoid the protectionist impulse within the Democratic Party. So I was dismayed to read about the apparent decision to impose tariffs on Chinese tires. Particularly troubling, as the WSJ reports in an editorial today, is that the Administration has chosen to utilize a rarely (if ever) used provision of trade law, Section 421, setting a bad precedent and encouraging other industries to seek equivalent "relief." President Bush was far-from perfect on trade policy (one of many disappointments), but he rejected all four of the Section 421 petitions he received. I hope this latest decision is an aberration, but I am not optimistic.