Ever since the global recession began, China and the U.S. have been swapping accusations of "unfair trade practices," culminating in a tussle last month over tariffs on tires and chickens. But a new report from the Centre for Economic Policy Research shows that China is the greater victim. The study looked at 425 protectionist measures that nations have passed since November 2008. Out of those, 176 target China, compared with 105 that target the U.S. A whopping 56 countries have moved to harm China's commercial interests during the economic crisis, while 49 have tried to tilt the playing field against America.
Still, governments that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Even though China is the No. 1 target of its trading partners, it's also one of the worst offenders in enacting its own protectionist policies. China heads the study's list of countries that have passed measures against the greatest number of trading partners--it has discriminated against 163 nations--and it's second only to Ukraine in countries that have imposed the most tariffs on commercial products. Put in that perspective, the "unfair" practices Beijing is complaining about look more like tit for tat.