Price of tires going up because of tariff

Kansas City StarNovember 2, 2009 

If you're planning to buy new tires, bring a fatter wallet and be prepared for sticker shock.

Late in September, the Obama administration placed a 35 percent tariff on Chinese-manufactured tires, agreeing with the U.S. International Trade Commission and United Steelworkers that the surge in imports from China this decade constituted unfair trade.

The administration imposed a tax of 35 percent this year, followed by 30 percent the same time next year, and 25 percent after that.

Most consumers don't buy tires based on where they're made but on price, brand and reputation. A variety of brands are produced in China, including tires from Michelin and Goodyear Tire & Rubber.

Tires made in China make up 17 percent of all the tires bought in the United States, a more than threefold increase from 2004.

It won't be just the price of imported Chinese tires that will increase because of the tariff. To offset the 35 percent charge on the tires made in China, manufacturers most likely will spread the tariff's effect by raising prices on many of their other tires as well.

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