Will the Chinese tire tariff expire on Sept. 26?

Aug. 20, 2012

On September 26, 2012, President Obama’s tariff on passenger and light truck tires imported from China is set to expire. The question on the minds of many tire dealers is, “Will it expire?”

Procedures to extend the tariff are outlined in the Congressional Research Service report for Congress titled “Chinese Tire Imports: Section 421 Safeguards and the World Trade Organization.” The report has a section titled “Presidential Decision Regarding Import Relief.”

“The tire tariffs are due to terminate in September,” says Nkenge Harmon, deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for public and media affairs, Executive Office of the President.

“The statute in the report creates a deadline for interested parties to request an extension of the tariffs. The deadline for an extension request is six months prior to the termination of the tire tariff. No interested parties made a request for an extension.”

In President Obama’s State of the Union address in January, he said the tariff saved more than 1,000 U.S. jobs. The tariff on Chinese tires has been politicized – and this is a presidential election year.

Will President Obama allow the tariff to be lifted? Or will he need the support of groups who favor a tariff – and continue a duty in some form? And can he do so without requesting an extension?

“We have talked to many people in D.C. about that,” says Tire Industry Association (TIA) Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield. "They indicate that the guidelines give us hope, but if the President wants to extend it without that notice there are ways he could do it. So we hesitate to say anything definitive...but we hope it expires.”

To learn more on what Littlefield has to say about the tariff, click here.

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