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US slaps heavy duties on Chinese tires

[NEW YORK] The United States on Wednesday set large import duties on car and light-truck tires made in China, saying producers were dumping them into the US market.

The US Commerce Department said it would begin collecting anti-dumping duties of between 19.17 per cent and 87.99 per cent on the tires, depending on the producer/exporter.

Most of the dozens of companies affected by the ruling will face duties of 27.72 per cent.

For some producer/exporters, the duties will be applied retroactively to cover the previous 90 days, the department said.

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That decision came in response to the claim by the petitioner in the case, a US rubber workers' union, that their complaint was in response to "critical circumstances" affecting their industry.

The duties hit tire imports from China that were valued at US$2.1 billion (S$2.8 billion) in 2013, according to the department.

The anti-dumping judgment is only preliminary, and a final determination is scheduled to be made in June.