By Oliver Hall
US President Barack Obama and China’s President Hu Jintao have discussed their differences over America’s decision to impose a tariff on Chinese tyres, according to news reports.
A US official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, says President Obama told President Hu that despite the decision to slap steep import taxes on Chinese tyres, the United States remains committed to free trade.
The report from Australia Network News comes as both leaders prepare to attend a summit of the Group of 20 nations in Pittsburgh later this week amid fears the tyre issue could overshadow their bilateral relationship.
Earlier this month imposed a tariff of 35 per cent on Chinese made tyre imports which prompted Beijing to lodge a complaint at the World Trade Organisation.
Beijing says that the decision by Washington violates WTO rules, however Obama has denied that it amounted to protectionism.
The WTO has raised concerns that the move could slow global economic recovery and that other countries may follow suit.