The US government on Tuesday denied a petition by US manufacturers of brake parts for relief from a surge of imports from China, Dow Jones reported.

With a 4-to-0 vote, the US International Trade Commission ruled that US producers of brake drums and rotors aren’t suffering financially because of competition with China, the report said.

Dow Jones noted that, in June, a coalition of brake drum manufacturers filed the complaint under a law known as Section 421, which was passed three years ago when the US granted China permanent normal trade relations. It was intended to protect US industries from a flood of imports from China after entry into the World Trade Organisation, and the US industry had argued for import tariffs as high as 200%, the news agency added.

Dow Jones said that, so far, the US has been reluctant to impose tariffs under this law and, earlier this year, the ITC ruled that imports of wire garment hangers from China were disrupting the US market. However, the report added, President Bush decided not to impose the penalties, arguing that the domestic industry still controls 85% of the US market after several years of competition with the Chinese. Earlier, Bush rejected ITC recommendations for import relief for US makers of a device used in wheel chairs, saying that doing so would harm overall trade relations and cost the economy as a whole, Dow Jones said.

The ITC’s decision on Tuesday “sends an important message that claims without merit will be stopped at the commission’s desk,” Hamilton Loeb, a lawyer representing Chinese manufacturers, told Dow Jones.