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China regrets WTO ruling on U.S. tariff on Chinese tires

12-15-2010 10:41 BJT

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China said Tuesday it regretted a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling Monday that said a punitive United States tariff on Chinese tire imports is consistent with global trade rules.

China is deeply concerned about the effect the tariff has on the Chinese tire industry, said an unnamed official at the Treaty and Law Department of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

After careful study of the report, China will file a complaint to safeguard the legitimate rights of the nation's tire makers and exporters, the official added.

On Sept. 11, 2009, the U.S. announced punitive tariffs of up to 35 percent on all Chinese car and light-truck tire imports in an attempt to "remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry."

On Sept.14, 2009, China requested consultations with the United States on the issue, calling the tariffs inconsistent with WTO rules and U.S. obligations under China's Accession Protocol.

The duty took effect on Sept. 26, 2009, at a rate of 35 percent for the first year. It was set at 30 percent for the second year and 25 percent for the third year.

The protectionist move was designed to transfer domestic political pressures and was not in line with global trade rules, the official said, adding that the tariff has hurt the interests of both China and the United States.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show employment in tire-manufacturing fell 10 percent in the first 5 months of 2010.

The U.S. measures have also cost jobs in the tire sales sector, causing some small- and medium-sized wholesale dealers to go bankrupt, the official added.

Moreover, the tariff has burdened low-income consumers in the U.S., with the average price of tires sold in the U.S. increasing 10 to 20 percent, according to industrial statistics, said the official.

The official noted that even as the tariff has reduced Chinese tire exports to the U.S., the value and volume of tires the U.S. imported from all countries in the first half of 2010 rose 30 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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