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Chinese top commerce official to talk to Washington on tire trade
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16:45, August 18, 2009

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Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Zhong Shan will meet White House, Treasury and trade officials in Washington to express China's strong opposition against and deep concern on the US possible punitive duties on imports of Chinese tires.

Zhong led a delegation to Washington on August 17. China has repeatedly criticized the proposal as a protectionist move inconsistent with WTO rules and warned it would harm bilateral trade at the cost of both Chinese and American jobs.

It is the first safeguard investigation against China by the Obama administration. The Bush administration launched six such cases against China. However, none ended up with any trade remedy measures.

Another Vice Minister of Commerce, Fu Ziying, expressed his hope last week that the US would "make right decisions" again this time.

The US International Trade Commission launched the special safeguard investigations into Chinese tires on April 20 this year at the request of United Steelworkers which claimed that Chinese exports to the United States more than tripled in 2004-08 to 41 million tires a year. They want to reduce the imports to 21 million per year.

According to China's statistics, China exported some 2.2 billion USD tires to the US.

The ITC proposed on July 29 to impose 55 percent, 45 percent and 35 percent duties on Chinese tires three years in a row.

The government of President Barack Obama is deciding whether to impose duties after the US International Trade Commission ruled in June that competition from rapidly rising imports of Chinese tires was hurting American producers.

The Chinese industrial delegation has participated in two hearings on the case in Washington.

The US Trade Representative Office will put forward their proposal to President Obama by September 2 and the President will make his final decision by September 17.

By People's Daily Online

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