Protect American jobs by getting tough on China. That's the underlying idea behind President-elect Donald Trump's threat of a 45% tariff against China as a ploy to bring jobs back to America. Before pursuing that strategy, however, Trump might want to check out what happened when his predecessor tried that. President Obama slapped a stiff 35% tariff on Chinese tires in 2009 after American companies complained about unfair competition. They said China was flooding America with tires at low prices making it tough for U.S. companies to compete. The tire tariff gradually waned, and finally ended in 2012.