By Oliver Hall
About 100,000 Chinese and more than 10,000 Americans could lose their jobs if the United States goes ahead and restricts tyres imports from China, according to news reports.
The figures were revealed by the official Xinhua news agency today, just days ahead of the US Trade Representative delivering their recommendations in the tyres case to President Barack Obama.
The hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, heralds the start of the final stage of deliberation in which Obama is required under US trade law to announce a decision within 15 days.
US tyre imports from China totalled about 46 million in 2008, or triple the 15 million in 2004.
The United Steelworkers union has claimed that the flood of imports from China is harming the domestic market and called for quotas. However, the US International Trade Commission recommended steep import duties to stem the tide of imports.
“The case has become an opportunity for some politicians at the centre of U.S. partisan politics to make a show,” Xinhua said in the English-language commentary.
“However, the U.S. government is strongly expected to take into account the long-term development of Sino-American trade relations in making its decision.
“If the punitive duties being called for by some politicians and trade protectionists are imposed, more than 10,000 Americans in the tyre distribution and retail sectors may lose their jobs, along with about 100,000 Chinese manufacturing workers.”