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U.S. trade official submits Chinese tire case to Obama
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11:30, September 03, 2009

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

"Our recommendation is due to the president by midnight tonight," an official from the Office of the U.S. 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 U.S. Steelworkers union, which represents workers at major U.S. tire manufacturers, filed a petition against China earlier this year for import relief and won a favorable ruling from the U.S. 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 U.S. trade law, which only requires petitioners to show that imports from China have disrupted the U.S. 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 Sept. 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.


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