China "strongly opposes" US President Barack Obama's decision to introduce punitive tariffs on tire imports from China and may refer the case to the World Trade Organization, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Saturday.
The imposition of the new tariffs not only violated rules of the WTO but also runs against the commitments made by the US at the Group of 20 summits, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday, citing spokesman Yao Jian. The move will harm both countries' interests and could trigger a damaging chain reaction of trade protectionism, slowing world economic recovery, it added. China will reserve "all legitimate rights, including referring the case to the WTO."
President Obama "signed a determination to apply an increased duty to all imports of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China for a period of three years," the White House said in a statement on Friday.