NEW YORK—The World Trade Organization (WTO) this week upheld tariffs on Chinese tires issued by the United States.
The WTO rejected China’s appeal on a previous WTO ruling stating that the United States did not violate procedures in slapping import duties on Chinese tires. The original ruling was made in December 2010.
U.S. agencies imposed a 35 percent import duty on Chinese tires in late 2009, after the United Steelworkers union complained to Washington that excessively cheap Chinese tire imports were hurting competition and costing Americans jobs.
The Chinese regime complained to the WTO that the tariffs are protectionist in nature, and urged the U.S. government to remove the duties.
“The panel concluded that in imposing the transitional safeguards measure on 26 September 2009, in respect of imports of subject tires from China, the United States did not fail to comply with its obligations,” a statement from the Geneva-based WTO said.
“This is a tremendous victory for the United States as well as for American workers and manufacturers,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a statement. “We have said all along that President Obama’s decision to impose duties on Chinese tires was fully consistent with our WTO obligations.”
Over the past decades thousands of jobs in the rubber manufacturing industry have been shipped abroad by tire manufacturers.The measure to increase tariffs was met with opposition from Chinese leaders, Chinese tire makers, as well as American tire manufacturers with operations in China.