The United Steelworkers union, which represents workers at many U.S. tire production plants, filed a petition earlier this year asking for the protection.
It said a tripling of tire imports from China to about 46 million in 2008 from about 15 million in 2004 had cost more than 5,000 U.S. tire worker jobs.
An additional 35 percent duty will be placed for a year on Chinese-made passenger vehicle and light truck tires, the White House said in a statement.
The new duty will take effect on September 26 and comes in addition to an existing 4 percent duty. It would fall to 30 percent in the second year and 25 percent in the third year, the White House said.
See also a China Daily report: "Major trade test ahead for Obama with China tire ban."