US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg has said that the US and China do not want a dispute over tyres to spark a broader trade war.

Steinberg will visit China next week as part of an Asian tour.

Reuters reported that in a speech to the Centre for a New American Security, he said the US decision to impose a tariff on tyre imports from China had been taken under terms of a World Trade Organisation framework accepted by both countries.

Steinberg said both countries wanted to make sure "that this particular disagreement does not spark a trade war."

The report added that US President Barack Obama sought to ease friction in a meeting with China's President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this week.

The Obama administration has said it will impose duties of 35% in the first year on Chinese passenger and light truck tyres, provoking an angry response from the Chinese government earlier this month.