By Denna Bowman
The signs are getting stronger that US President Barack Obama will reject calls to impose extra duties on imported Chinese tyres, according to latest reports.
A nine-member delegation from China has just returned home after spending a week lobbying US authorities and attending a hearing into the tyres tariff petition.
The team reported that opposition to the duty is growing in the US because the duty is being seen as harmful to consumers and detractors argue it could cast a shadow over economic relations.
Shen Weijia, executive director of GITI tyres, the leading Chinese manufacturer, told China Daily: “The visit to the US was fruitful this time.
“More groups are lining up against the proposal.”
Early next month, the US trade representative will send a proposal to Obama, who will have to make a final decision by Sept 17.
In April, the union, which represents half of US tyre workers, filed a petition for a special duty on Chinese imports to protect their jobs, winning a favourable proposal from the International Trade Commission two months later.
However, no American tyre makers sided with the union, as Chinese tyre makers are targeting the low-end market that major US tyre counterparts like Michelin and Goodyear decided to give up years ago.
Zhang Yuging, a dispute settlement panellist with the World Trade Organisation, also said: “There is a high probability Obama will reject it, thanks not only to the growing criticism within the US against the proposal, but also to the growing importance of China in helping the US tide over the economic recession.”