Now seeks Pres. Obama’s support
to save U.S. jobs & plants
Washington, D.C. (Jun. 29) – The United Steelworkers (USW) applauded today’s vote by the International Trade Commission (ITC) for a tariff remedy in the union’s Section 421 petition against a surge of low-priced and market disrupting consumer tires from China.
Leo W. Gerard, USW international president, declared: “Today’s remedy vote by the ITC is a great victory for the USW, its members and for all U.S. tire workers. The tariffs voted by the commissioners should remedy the market disruptive surge in Chinese tire imports that have caused harm to the domestic industry.”
The USW president says he anticipates when President Obama receives the final recommendations from the U.S. Trade Representative on Sept. 2, he will agree with the findings and support enforcement of the recommended tariff levels. “It is time for the promise of enforcing U.S. trade laws to be fulfilled,” Gerard said.
Tom Conway, USW international vice president and chair of bargaining at Goodyear Tire and Rubber, said: “Both our own economic analysis as well as that of the ITC show that the recommended tariffs will have significant beneficial effects for the domestic industry. We applaud the Commission’s decision and look forward to working with the Obama Administration to see that it is fully implemented.”
All four commissioners who found that Chinese imports caused market disruption voted unanimously today in support of recommending the President impose tariffs for three years on imports of Chinese tires that have been found to cause market disruption to the domestic tire industry. The trade commission recommended the President impose tariffs of 55 percent ad valorem (the value of the item) in the first year, 45 percent in the second year and 35 percent in the third year, in addition to any other applicable tariffs.
The Commission’s economic analysis indicates that the recommended tariff will provide significant beneficial effects to the domestic industry and its workers, while having relatively insignificant costs to consumers.
U.S. law requires that when the ITC finds market disruption to a domestic industry and its workers, it must recommend a remedy to the President which will address the market disruption.
The President will have until September 17 to decide what, if any, relief will be provided.
The USW filed a petition with the ITC on April 20 that sought relief under Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974. Section 421 is a temporary country-specific safeguard that China agreed to as part of its bilateral trade negotiations with the United States leading to its 2001 membership in the World Trade Organization.
The USW petition claimed that imports of consumer tires from China increased from 2004 to 2008 by 215 percent in volume and 295 percent by value. In 2008, China exported nearly 46 million consumer tires with a value of more than $1.7 billion to the U.S., making it the largest source of consumer tire imports. While imports nearly tripled by value during the surge period, domestic production of consumer tires declined by more than 25 percent.
During this period, nearly 5,100 U.S. tire workers lost their jobs as a result of massive erosion in the domestic production that coincided with the skyrocketing increases in imports of consumer tires from China. About 3,000 more jobs are slated to be lost by year’s end as three plants are threatened to close.
For more information, including background, testimony and video related to the tire case, visit
Click here for background on the U.S. International Trade Commission's remedy and the USW's recommendation.
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