China imposes tariffs on US-built cars
Imported US-built Buick vehicles in China, covered with dust (file photo)
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce says Beijing plans to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on vehicles imported from the United States.
"US vehicles benefiting from subsidies and dumping on the China market have substantially damaged China's auto industry," the Ministry's statement said on Tuesday.
According to the statement, China will begin imposing taxes on cars and sports-utility vehicles built in the US with an engine capacity of more than 2.5 liters, from Dec 15, 2011 to Dec 14, 2013.
The greatest impact of the new Chinese tariffs will be felt by major American car makers General Motors, facing punitive duties of as high as 12.9 percent, and the Chrysler Corporation, facing a tariff rate of 8.8 percent.
Currently, China imposes tariffs of 25 percent on imported passenger vehicles, Xinhua reported.
China's move drew immediate criticism from the US government.
“We are very disappointed in this action by China,” said Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United States Trade Representative. “We will be discussing this latest action with both our stakeholders and Congress to determine the best course going forward.”