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Not a positive signal,says senior Thai official
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The United States government's decision to impose tariff on tire imports from China is not a positive signal, Kiat Sittheeamorn, President of Thailand Trade Representative said Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama Friday decided to impose punitive tariffs for three years -- at 35 percent for the first year, 30 percent in the second and 25 percent in the third, on all car and light truck tires from China, according to the White House.

Kiat Sittheeamorn made the comment on the sideline of the ongoing 2009 Summer Davos in northeastern China's port city of Dalian.

"If this is a temporary measure to help put out the fire, that's fine, the whole world can understand it," he said. "But if it's a long-term measure, it will only benefit a few groups in the U.S., then it's not the principle that has been discussed and agreed at the G20 meeting in London, and it's difficult for the world community to accept it."

"It's very important for the G20 leaders to ensure that they continue to maintain the credibility. Everything on that agreement has to be followed through very closely," he said.

The Chinese government voiced strong opposition on the move and said it not only breached the World Trade Organization rules but also broke the U.S. pledges made at the April G20 summit in London.

The U.S. move will not solve the slowdown in the U.S. tire industry, which Washington said has threatened the employment of 20,000 U.S. tire workers. Instead it will affect 100,000 tire-related jobs in the U.S., Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on the ministry website.

(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2009)

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