China launching trade probe against US automakers image

China has told the United States it is launching a trade investigation that could lead to higher tariffs on imports of autos and SUVs made by GM, Chrysler and Ford, a U.S. industry official said on Wednesday, reported Reuters.

“The documents containing the charges were presented by China to the U.S. government this week, but have not yet been translated. Therefore we are not in a position to comment on the matter at this time,” Steve Collins, president of the American Automotive Policy Council said.

But US auto industry still maintains its prediction that China will not sue specific US automakers, Collins added.

He also estimated that the three automakers export a total of around 9,000 vehicles to China.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who will visit China in mid-November, slapped a 35% duty on imports of Chinese-made tires which totaled about $1.8 billion last year.

China challenged the action at the World Trade Organization and also said it would launch an anti-dumping and countervailing-duty investigation against U.S. autos to offset unfair pricing and government subsidies.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Trade Representative Ron Kirk are now in China for meetings aimed at resolving outstanding issues between the two economic giants.