U.S. Proposed Tariff on Chinese Tire Imports Lacks Fact, Legal Ground: Official
    2009-08-12 10:48:40     Xinhua      Web Editor: Cao Jie
The proposed tariff of the United States on Chinese tire imports is not supported by "facts nor valid legal ground", China's Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying said here Wednesday.

China's Ministry of Commerce Wednesday affirmed its stance on the United States' proposed imposition of tariffs on Chinese tire imports, saying the move was neither supported by "legitimacy nor objective foundation".

The slowdown in the U.S. tire industry is a result of the global financial crisis, and not China's increasing tire exports to the U.S., Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying said.

He said the move breached World Trade Organization rules and was trade protectionism.

Fu said China's tire exports to the U.S. tripled between 2004 and 2007 while, during the same period, U.S. tire manufacturers' doubled profits. "This means the increase of China's tire exports did not cause any substantial harm to the U.S. tire industry," he said.

According to the latest figures available from the General Administration of Customs, China exported 21.08 million tires, 26 percent of its total tire exports, to the United States in the first four months this year. The exports were worth 521 million U.S. dollars, down 25.7 percent year on year.

It is normal that China faces frequent trade frictions as most China's exports were labor-intensive products, Fu said.

"We will work to protect the interests of domestic industries and enterprises, " he said.

The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a statement on June 29, recommending imposing descending tariffs of 55 percent, 45 percent and 35 percent over the next three years on car and light truck tires from China.

The U.S. Trade Representative must submit a policy recommendation to the White House by Sept. 2 on whether or not to impose the tariff. U.S. President Obama has 15 days after that to give a final ruling.



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