China warned Tuesday that US tariffs on Chinese tires would damage the mutually beneficial trade relationship between the two economic powerhouses.
"The (tariffs) will certainly impact trade between China and the US because we have a huge trade volume," said Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei at a briefing Tuesday on President Hu Jintao's participation in next week's G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
He blasted the tire tariffs as "clear examples of protectionism," reiterating a similar denouncement from other Chinese officials.
US President Barack Obama recently approved a three-tier tariff system on all imports of passenger vehicles and light truck tires from China for three years.
In the past two days, officials from both sides have made it clear that they are not in favor of trade protectionism and are making efforts to come to an understanding.
Earlier Tuesday, Yao Jian, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, expressed the nation's unwillingness to see a "trade war" and proposed that the two sides conduct consultations under WTO's legal framework.
Obama downplayed the possibility that the tariffs would spark a cycle of retaliation and told US media outlets on Monday that "we're not going to see a trade war."
But Yao argues that since the global financial crisis arose out of the US' economic downfall, it should act cautiously and refrain from the use of trade remedies.
Vice-Foreign Minister He said that participating nations in the G20 summit in Pittsburgh should promise not to erect new trade protectionist measures.