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Chinese tire tariffs: what has the impact been?

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Nearly 12 months after the White House imposed a 35% tariff on Chinese-made consumer tires, the U.S.-China Business Council is asking for an objective report on th economic impact of the decision.

In a letter sent to President Obama yesterday, Aug. 25, John Frisbie, president of the Washington D.C.-based council, wrote that it has "found no evidence that the tariffs on low-end Chinese tires have had a positive effect on American jobs, and we suspect the tariffs have had an overall negative economic impact on American consumers.

"U.S. imports of Chinese low-ened tires have indeed declined following the imposition of the tariffs, but low-end tire imports from other countries have increased significantly and are higher overall than before the tariffs. Tire industry sources say that prices have increased, impacting American pocketbooks, and data from the Bureau of Labor show that tire manufacturing jobs in America continue to decline overall.

"Before we contemplate any further such cases -- or indeed, other controversial, tariff-based solutions to trade concerns -- we need to make sure we have a fact-based understanding of the economic impact of the tire tariffs.

"I encourage you to use your authority under Section 421 to request that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) provide a report on the effects of the changes in the tire tariffs on American consumers and job creation. The statute requires that ITC collect data so it can quickly respond to such a request, and as an independent agency, ITC can report objectively on the impact of the tire tariffs.

"An objective report will provide needed clarity on how these types of tariffs affect our economy and whether they achieve the goals they were designed to meet."

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