WTO backs US tariff on China tyres

Image caption, China had complained to the WTO, the global trade watchdog, about the US's move

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that the US was entitled to impose extra duties on Chinese tyre imports.

Last year, President Obama imposed punitive duties of up to 35% on imports of Chinese-made tyres.

China called the move "protectionist" and had argued that the measures were not justified.

But the WTO panel said in its ruling that the US "did not fail to comply with its obligations".

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said: "This is a major victory for the United States and particularly for American workers and businesses."

When it introduced the duties, the US government argued that Chinese tyre imports had tripled in volume over four years.

It said this reduced US tyre production by more than a quarter over the same period, leading to 14% of workers in the industry losing their jobs.

China countered that the US tariffs would cost its tyre industry $1bn (£630m), and cause 100,000 Chinese redundancies.

Mr Kirk added: "We have said all along that our imposition of duties on Chinese tyres was fully consistent with our WTO obligations.

"It is significant that the WTO panel has agreed with us, on all grounds."

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