Geneva: The World Trade Organisation rejected a Chinese complaint against punitive US tariffs on Chinese tyre imports.

"We have not found in this report that the United States acted inconsistently with any of its WTO obligations," the WTO Appellate Body said in its 123-page ruling.

The case centred on a 2009 decision by US President Barack Obama to invoke a safeguard clause in China's WTO accession agreement to impose punitive duties of 35 percent on Chinese tyre imports, citing damage to the national tyre industry.

That prompted China to lodge a complaint with the global trade watchdog.

In December a panel rejected the complaint, leading China to appeal the decision.

However, the appellate body rejected all of China's arguments in its ruling, saying the surge of tyre imports were "a significant cause of material injury to the domestic industry", and thus the US tariffs are consistent with international trade agreements.

In Washington, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk called the ruling a "tremendous victory for the United States as well as for American workers and manufacturers."

Obama's decision, said Kirk, "was fully consistent with our WTO obligations," and he praised the WTO panel for siding with Washington on the issue.

(Agencies)