2009-09-12 Xinhua        報復

US to restrict tire imports from China

US President Barack Obama has decided to impose punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tires from China for three years, the White House announced on Friday.

"The president decided to remedy the clear disruption to the US tire industry based on the facts and the law in this case," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.


1(a) 締約国は、事情の予見されなかつた発展の結果及び自国がこの協定に基いて負う義務(関税譲許を含む。)の効果により、







(1) スラブ(鋼板に加工される前の半製品)
(2) 鋼板類(自動車、産業機器、食用缶等で幅広く使用)
(3) 条鋼類(主に建設用の鉄筋等に活用される棒鋼等)
(4) 鋼管類(一般配管や機械構造用配管等で使用)
(5) ステンレス類(さびに強く、棒鋼、ワイヤー等多様な用途で使用)


The US Steelworkers union, which represents workers at major US tire manufacturers, filed a petition against China earlier this year for import relief and won a favorable ruling from the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The panel recommended Obama impose a 55-percent tariff on the Chinese tire imports which would be reduced to 45 percent in the second year and 35 percent in the third before being removed.

Obama, who must make a decision on the tire case before Sept 17, at last set punitive tariffs at 35 percent for the first year,30 percent in the second and 25 percent in the third, according to the White House.

The tariffs were strongly opposed by US tire distributors and retailers, who said the restrictions would raise prices, hurting cash-strapped consumers.

"Tariffs will not create manufacturing jobs in the United States," said Jim Mayfield, president of Del-Nat Tire Corp, which sells private-label tires, including Chinese-made imports.

He said for the past 15 years, major US producers had focused on higher profit and better performing tires instead of what industry insiders call "tier three tires" that service lower end and second-hand automobiles.

With tariffs imposed, the biggest hit would be felt by American consumers who buy $50-Chinese-made tires and can't afford US brands that cost upwards of $150, warned many distributors.

Some low-income consumers are stretching their tires well beyond their useful life, coming in "with duct wrapped around the tire" to cover fraying steel belts, said Mayfield.

The Chinese government also spoke strongly against the proposed tariffs.

"We hope the US government will refrain from taking action, for the long-term healthy and stable development of US-Chinese relations," Fu Ziying, China's vice commerce minister, said last month.

"The case is neither supported by facts nor does it have valid legal grounds," he added.

This tire case is seen as a test for Obama's trade policy.

"This is the administration's first real test on trade policy ... they're either going to implement new barriers or not," said Chad P Brown, an economics professor at Brandeis University.

The protectionist move by the Obama administration will ultimately hurt the US-China trade relations, which are becoming more and more important due to the global financial crisis, some economists warned.

"There is rising protectionism in the US against Chinese goods," said Derek Scissors, a research fellow at the Heritage foundation's Asian Studies Center, noting that the harm will be inevitably passed on to consumers.

"The US must stop taking decisions against China, even small ones, without putting forth an explicit trade policy, which we have thus far failed to do," he told Xinhua.

September 11, 2009  NYT

U.S. Adds Tariffs on Chinese Tires

In a break with the trade policies of his predecessor, President Obama announced on Friday night that he would impose a 35 percent tariff on automobile and light-truck tires imported from China.

The decision is a major victory for the United Steelworkers, the union that represents American tire workers. And Mr. Obama cannot afford to jeopardize his relationship with major unions as he pushes Congress to overhaul the nations health care system.

But China is certain to be antagonized by the decision, made less than two weeks before Mr. Obama will come face to face with Chinese leaders at a summit meeting in Pittsburgh for the Group of 20 industrialized and fast-growing emerging nations.

The decision signals the first time that the United States has invoked a special safeguard provision that was part of its agreement to support Chinas entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Under that safeguard provision, American companies or workers harmed by imports from China can ask the government for protection simply by demonstrating that American producers have suffered a market disruptionor a surgein imports from China.

Unlike more traditional anti-dumping cases, the government does not need to determine that a country is competing unfairly or selling its products at less than their true cost.

The International Trade Commission had already determined that Chinese tire imports were disrupting the $1.7 billion market and recommended that the president impose the new tariffs. Members of the commission, an independent government agency, voted 4-2 on June 29 to recommend that President Obama impose tariffs on Chinese tires for three years. Mr. Obama had until this coming Thursday to make a decision.

American imports of Chinese tires tripled between 2004 and 2008, and Chinas share of the American market grew to 16.7 percent, from 4.7 percent, according to the United States Trade Representative. Four American tire factories closed in 2006 and 2007, and several more are set to close this year.

The Tire Industry Association has opposed the tariffs, arguing that they will not preserve American jobs but will instead cause manufacturers to relocate plants to other countries where they can produce tires cheaply.

President George W. Bush received four similar recommendations from the trade commission, the most recent one involving steel pipe in December 2005, but he rejected all of those recommendations. Under the law, the president is allowed to accept or reject the commissions recommendations.

The president decided to remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry based on the facts and the law in this case,the presidents spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said in a statement Friday night.

Mr. Gibbs said the United States, which already imposes a 4 percent tariff on Chinese tires, would impose an additional tariff of 35 percent for one year. The tariff will be reduced to 30 percent in the second year and 25 percent in the third year. The tariff is to take effect on Sept. 26.

The trade commission proposed higher tariffs than the president actually imposed, recommending an initial levy of 55 percent.

The president of United Steelworkers International, Leo W. Gerard, applauded Mr. Obamas decision, saying, The president sent the message that we expect others to live by the rules, just as we do.

Senator Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who had pressed for the tariffs, also praised the decision.

He said in a statement, If American workers and manufacturers are going to compete in the global market, they need to have a government that uses trade enforcement tools.

2009-09-12 Xinhua

China strongly opposes US tariffs on Chinese tires

China strongly opposes a US decision made Friday night to impose special protectionist tariffs on tire imports from China, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Yao Jian said Saturday.

Yao said China has held negotiations with the US over the case but the US still sticks to this decision, which is serious trade protectionism, with which China is strongly dissatisfied.

The Ministry said the US had violated the WTO rule by this decision, and also its promise made on the G20 summit.

Yao said China would reserve all rights to take responsive actions to firmly protect the interests of Chinese companies.

2009-08-26 China Daily

China might take retaliatory measures in US tire case By Ding Qingfen

China is expected to take retaliatory measures if US President Barack Obama agrees next month to a plan to impose tariffs on some Chinese-made tires, experts said yesterday.

There is only a week left for the US Trade Representative (USTR) to submit the final proposal on the Chinese tire import case, also the largest of its kind in China by volume, at $2.2 billion.

Experts said the outcome is uncertain despite strong evidence that Chinese tires have not disrupted the American market, as well as efforts by the Chinese government during the past three months to stave off a US-imposed tariff.

"The prospect is not very positive, and we have to be ready for the worst," said He Weiwen, a council member of the China Society for American Economy Studies.

"China's government should not tolerate unreasonable and unfair behavior by the US and must fight back firmly and quickly," He said.

The USTR proposal is expected to be submitted on Sept 2, and Obama is expected to decide the case before Sept 17.

If approved by the president, duties of up to 55 percent will be imposed on Chinese-made tires exported to the United States, which could lead to a loss of 100,000 jobs in Chinese manufacturing sectors.

Last Wednesday, under the leadership of Vice-Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, a team headed for the US to consult with authorities.

The results were not positive, an unnamed official from the ministry's bureau of fair trade of imports and exports said.

"The Obama administration is under great pressure from labor unions and other groups," the official said.

Experts said China should prepare to retaliate if the US approves the tariffs.

"If the US says no to tires from China, China could take measures to limit automobile imports from the US," He said.

Despite the recession, demand for autos from Chinese consumers is still rising.

During the first half of this year, China imported $1.02 billion worth of automobiles from the US, up by 9.1 percent from a year earlier.

"It's unfair for Chinese laborers, after we made the American auto makers happy, if the US launches sanctions against Chinese tire exports," He said.

He said China also can take retaliatory measures against US imports.

"When the special guarantee (tariff) measures last for more than three years, China has the right to cancel the import tariff reductions required by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on some selected categories of products from the US," He said.

Fu Donghui, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based Allbright Law Firm, said it "legitimate for China to take reprisal measures against the United States if the special guarantee case is not in line with WTO rules".

Cases of this type are not uncommon.

In early 1987, the US government announced plans to levy a 200 percent tariff on imports of some products from Europe after high duties were levied on American agricultural products.

Former US President George W. Bush had planned to impose six special guarantee measures against China, but all six proposals were rejected.

2009-09-03 Xinhua

US trade official submits Chinese tire case to Obama

The US trade authority has submitted recommendation about the proposed tariffs on Chinese tire export to the US market to President Barack Obama, a US official said Wednesday.

"Our recommendation is due to the president by midnight tonight," an official from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) told Xinhua, but "the recommendation is confidential. The president has 15 days to make his final determination."

This case is seen as a test for Obama's trade policy.

The US Steelworkers union, which represents workers at major US tire manufacturers, filed a petition against China earlier this year for import relief and won a favorable ruling from the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The panel recommended Obama impose a 55 percent tariff on the Chinese tire imports, which would be reduced to 45 percent in the second year and 35 percent in the third before being removed.

The steelworkers asked for protection under Section 421 of US trade law, which only requires petitioners to show that imports from China have disrupted the US market.

The ITC said it submitted its investigation report to President Obama and the USTR Ron Kirk in July.

The USTR is scheduled to submit its remedy recommendation to Obama by September 2. He is required to make a decision within 15 days after receiving it.

The president's decision will tell the world if he believes his own rhetoric about the dangers of protectionism in a weak global economy, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal last month.



全米タイヤ産業協会は7月10日、オバマ大統領にあてて公開の手紙を送り、通商代表部のカーク代表にも同じ内容の手紙を送った。同協会は手紙の中で、「ITCの提案した救済措置には、米国の製造業労働者を保護する効果はない。逆に、経済危機という状況の下、米国 のタイヤ消費者の選択肢を狭め、高価な製品を押し付けることになる」と主張している。同協会は、全米50州にまたがる小型企業6千社からなる団体だ。

タイヤ輸入企業6社で作られる全米タイヤ自由貿易連盟も21日、カーク代表に手紙を送り、特別セーフガード措置に反対する立場を示した。同連盟に よると、特別セーフガード措置の実施は、米国のタイヤ小売業者の利益を大きく損なうことになる。このほか、米国の三大自動車メーカー(クライスラー、 フォード、ゼネラルモーターズ)の利益を代表する自動車貿易政策評議会や小売業を代表する小売業代表者協会なども、特別セーフガード措置に反対する手紙を カーク代表に送っている。

中国ゴム工業協会タイヤ分会の蔡為民・秘書長は、「米国が特別セーフガードを発動した場合、まず被害を受けるのは、米国の消費者の利益だ。中国製 タイヤの価格は合理的なものであり、安全性や信頼性も高く、米国で歓迎されている」と語る。「中国が輸出しているのはローエンドのタイヤ製品であり、米国 が生産しているハイエンドの製品とは市場のカテゴリーが異なる。そのため米国の労働者に損害がおよぶこともない」

asahi 2009年9月14日

米国車など反ダンピング調査 中国、セーフガード対抗か


 米中間では、米国側が11日、乗用車と小型トラック向けの中国製タイヤに対し、高関税をかける緊急輸入制限措置(セーフガード)の発動を発表したばか り。中国側は「WTO規則に違反するだけでなく、米国政府のG20金融サミットでの約束にも反する」と強く反発しており、今回の調査手続き開始も、対抗措 置の一環とみられる。


(Dow Jones)

China on Sunday singled out U.S. automotive and poultry product imports for investigation after the Obama administration decided to put steep import duties on Chinese tires.

Signaling that China is perhaps looking to retaliate, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement it is investigating complaints from local industries that some of these products are being dumped in the Chinese market or are benefiting from subsidies, "seriously affecting" domestic industries.

The investigation is "obviously not a retaliatory move" but is a response to concerns expressed by domestic industries, a state radio report said Sunday.

The U.S. decision to impose tariffs on Chinese passenger and light truck tires was in response to what the U.S. International Trade Commission determined to be a surge of Chinese tire exports that has rocked the U.S. tire industry and displaced thousands of jobs, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Friday night.

The decision calls for 35% import tariffs, which would decline to 30% in the second year and 25% in the third.

China's commerce ministry said Saturday it "strongly objects" to the U.S. move and that it reserves the right to refer the case to the World Trade Organization.

Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said in a statement the decision "not only violates WTO rules, but also runs against U.S. pledges at the G-20 summits, constitutes an abuse of trade remedy measures, and sets an extremely bad precedent in the current backdrop of a world economy in crisis."

He added the U.S. decision sends a protectionist signal ahead of the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, which will begin in less than two weeks.

China has consistently opposed trade protectionism, and the country's actions since the financial crisis has reflected this stance, the commerce ministry said Sunday. China is willing to continue to act in accordance with countries around the world to push forward the world's economic recovery, it also said.