September 14, 2009

China: Tire tariffs may cost 100,000 jobs

U.S President Barack Obama's decision to slap tariffs on Chinese tire imports will hit that country's industry hard, the head of a Chinese trade group said.

Obama's decision may affect the employment of 100,000 tire workers in China and may bring an aggregated loss of $1 billion to China's tire exporters, Fan Rende, chairman of China Rubber Industry Association, told the China Daily.

Obama said he made the decision to impose tariffs up to 35 percent based on the U.S. International Trade Commission's conclusion that a surge in Chinese-made tires had cost thousands of U.S. jobs.

In response to the White House decision, the Chinese Commerce Ministry has announced anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against U.S. automotive and chicken product imports.

The high duties may prevent Chinese companies from exporting tires to the United States, Fan said. China has 20 tire companies, including four U.S.-based companies that operate there, the report said.

Fan said in addition to sending a complaint letter to President Obama, his group, along with other companies, are considering taking their case to the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Separately, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said the U.S. decision amounted to grave trade protectionism that will send a wrong signal to the world, Xinhua news agency reported.

Chen said China reserves the right to bring its case to the World Trade Organization, Xinhua said.