US moves against Chinese tire imports continue to spark disputes between the two countries. Cai Weimin, General Secretary of the Tire branch of the China Rubber Industry Association told a journalist that the Association had asked the Ministry of Commerce to impose counter-sanctions on US exports, the Oriental Morning Post reports.
China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) re-affirmed Wednesday that proposed US tariffs on Chinese tire imports had neither "legitimacy nor objective foundation".
The US International Trade Commission announced on June 18 that low-price tires from China had disrupted the US market and inflicted losses of up to US$1.7 billion on American manufactures.
At a MOC press conference yesterday, Vice-Minister Fu Ziying acknowledged that China's tire exports to the US had tripled between 2004 and 2007. But he added that, during the same period, US tire manufacturers had doubled their profits, so Chinese exports had not fundamentally impacted US interests.
Cai Weimin told the Oriental Morning Post that counter measures could range from punitive tariffs on US exports of soybean and pork, to a complete embargo on these items.
Soybean and pork are the major US exports to China. According to statistics from the US Department of Agriculture, China's imports of soybeans will reach 38.1 million tons during 2009-2010, and will boost US soybean exports to a record-breaking 1.26 billion bushels (1 bushel approximately equals 27 kg). In April, China's pork imports from the US were 5,554 tons, worth US$6.155 million, exceeding imports from the EU for the first time.
Since Goodyear, Cooper Tires, and other major US tire producers have joint ventures or solely-owned operations in China, they will be hit by US sanctions on Chinese tire exports. So far no US tire producer has declared for or against sanctions, including Goodyear, which has a major share of the Chinese market.
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(China.org.cn by Maverick Chen, August 13, 2009)