Tire tariffs could cost you

October 6, 2009 8:47:54 PM PDT
It's not a bad notion - the concept of "buy American" especially with the economy in the tank. But now the Obama administration is slapping a huge tariff on a popular foreign product -- tires made in China.

A shipment of Chinese tires was recently unloaded at Hilna Discount Tires in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

The family-owned business has been around for 40 years and sells both foreign and domestic brands.

Twenty percent of the inventory consists of Chinese brands. Now the U.S. government is imposing a 35-percent tariff on the more than 46-million Chinese tires that come into this country every year.

Chinese tires meet U.S. safety standards, but they may not last for as many miles as American brands. Still the savings is significant.

The Chinese brand Primewell normally costs 276-dollars for a set of four tires.

By comparison, four Goodyear Wrangler tires will cost 380-dollars.

The tariff will bump up the Primewell price tag to 358-dollars for four tires.

It won't just affect Chinese brands. Some American brands have models that are also made in China.

The Obama administration is trying to drive American consumers to American tires and perhaps encourage more U.S. based manufacturing. Experts say there is no guarantee.

So in the short term, people trying to save a buck will be the ones to pay the price.

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