The United Steelworkers will not seek an extension of U.S. tariffs on car and light truck tires that is set to expire today.

The expiration comes as President Barack Obama, who imposed the trade penalties against Chinese-made tires in 2009, visits Kent today, and as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney launches campaign attacks on Obama’s trade policies.

The Steelworkers released a statement this week that it told the Obama administration in March, in advance of a six-month renewal-request deadline, that it would not request an extension.

Ohio is the home of Akron-based Goodyear and Findlay-based Cooper Tire.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard said in the statement that in the three years after Obama authorized the tariffs, “success has been achieved; jobs have been retained and created, production has rebounded, investments in plant and equipment have been made and many companies have returned to profitability.”

Gerard went on to say, “That’s why the law was enacted, and it worked.”

The statement also said that under a provision of international trade law, “compensation for a fourth year of relief might have had to be paid to China.”

Online media outlet Huffington Post reporter Jon Ward wrote this week that “a White House official said Monday that the tire tariff will in fact expire, because the United Steelworkers felt that the provision had the intended effect.”

Romney has said Obama is weak on China, leading to the loss of U.S. jobs. The Peterson Institute for International Economics has said the tariff cost American consumers $1.1 billion in 2011.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781. The Associated Press contributed to this report.