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US Tariffs on Chinese Tires 'a Cause of Concern'

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The US government's decision to impose tariffs on Chinese tires is "a cause of concern", said Alejandro Jara, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), on Saturday at the ongoing 2009 Summer Davos in northeast China's port city of Dalian.

"I think this is a cause of concern," he told Xinhua on the sideline of the summit, adding that he was not sure whether this would solve the problem the US petitioners has sought to solve.

"It's obviously a measure that does not help recovery and does not help increase world trade," he said.

Jara said this was a measure of protection, but he refused to comment on the move's legality and legitimacy.

"WTO has the dispute settlement mechanism that can settle the issue," he said.

US President Barack Obama decided on Friday to impose punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires from China for three years, a move quickly denounced by China as a "serious act of trade protectionism."

The US Steelworkers union, which represents workers at major US tire manufacturers, filed a petition against China earlier this year for import relief and won a favorable ruling from the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The panel recommended Obama impose a 55-percent tariff on the Chinese tire imports which would be reduced to 45 percent in the second year and 35 percent in the third before being removed.

(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2009)