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China strongly opposes US protectionist tariffs on tires from China

CHINA strongly opposes a US decision made last night to impose special protectionist tariffs on tire imports from China, Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesman Yao Jian said today.

Yao said China has held negotiations with the US over the case but the US still sticks to this decision, which is serious trade protectionism, with which China is strongly dissatisfied.

The Ministry said the US had violated the WTO rule by this decision, and also its relevant commitments made on the G-20 financial summit.

Yao said China would reserve all rights to take responsive actions to firmly protect the interests of Chinese companies.

According to Los Angeles Times report today, within 15 days, the US would add a duty of 35 percent in the first year, 30 percent in the second and 25 percent in the third on passenger vehicle and light-truck tires from China.

The report said the decision came after the US International Trade Commission determined that a surge of Chinese-made tires had disrupted the domestic market and cost thousands of jobs in the US

The Ministry said on its website today the US lacked bases for the case because tire products exported to the US from China had actually declined 16 percent in the first of this year, compared to the same period last year. China's tire exports to US in 2008 only rose 2.2 percent from 2007.

It said the business situation of the US tire producers has shown no apparent changes after the entry of Chinese products. There exists no direct competition between China's tire products and the US-made ones as China's tires mainly go for the US maintenance market.

Leaders from around the globe have reached consensus to oppose trade protectionism since the outbreak of the financial crisis. But the tire case, lacking factual bases, is an abuse of protectionist measures. It not only hurts the interests of China, but also those of the US, the Ministry said.

It would also send a wrong signal to the world ahead of the upcoming Group of 20 nations in Pittsburgh Sept. 24-25, and could trigger a chain reaction of trade protectionist measures that will slow world economic recovery, according to the website statement.


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