14 September 2009 23:19 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The latest increase in the US tariff on Chinese tyre imports will pave the way for imports from other countries, doing little to restore US tyre production or bring any jobs back to the country, the US Tire Industry Association (TIA) said on Monday.
The US on Friday said it would levy an additional 35% duty on imports of Chinese tyres used in passenger vehicles and light trucks on top of an existing tariff of 3.4-4.0%
The higher duty sparked outrage in China, which in 2008 shipped 46m tyres to the US, or 8.4% of its total tyre production.
The restriction, which will go into effect on 26 September, is a move by the US government to please labour unions and win their support, said TIA executive vice president Roy Littlefield.
“If there is any impact, it will be only be in the short term,” he said.
The higher tariff only means that the US will now start importing tyres from countries like India or Brazil, Littlefield predicted.
A US tyre producer declined to speculate on the outcome of the new restriction, saying it was too early to tell if the measure will have any impact in the market.
The US Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which along with the TIA represents the US tyre industry, also declined to comment, saying “it had no position on the issue”.
News of the increased duty drew only a mild reaction from the US chemical industry.
“It may not do much for butadiene (BD) demand,” a producer said, referring to one of the key feedstocks used in synthetic rubber production.
Tyre imports from China consist mostly of low-end, standard tyres, which are no longer manufactured in the US, the producer said.
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