By Denna Bowman
The controversial Wikileaks website has shed new light on the behind-the-scenes discussions on the US governments decision to impose higher tariffs on Chinese made tyres last year.
A leaked document dated 29 September 2009 and classified as secret reported that US deputy Secretary of State James B Steinberg discussed the tyres issue alongside policy objectives for Iran and North Korea with Chinese foreign minister He Yafei.
According to a report featured in Tyres and Accessories, although the majority of the transcript focuses on the geo-political concerns of the two countries president Bush had earlier characterised as parts of the “axis of evil”, at least part of it saw He Yafei bemoan President Obama’s decision to impose tariffs on tyre imports.
In the document China is said to have “lamented the United States’ recent 421 tyre decision.”
The Obama administration slapped the tariff on the tyres made in China in September 2009 in response to claims that a surge in the imports was putting the domestic industry and American jobs at risk.