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(Pittsburgh) -- The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement today in conjunction with the upcoming expiration of relief under Section 421 of U.S. trade laws from surging imports of Chinese passenger and light truck tires. In April 2009, the USW filed a petition under Section 421 of U.S. trade law calling for a response to a flood of passenger and light truck tire imports from China.
After a positive decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission, the President affirmed their decision and announced that relief would be granted. Under the statute, the Steelworkers had the right to request an extension of the relief up to six months in advance of its expiration. In March, in advance of the six month renewal request deadline, the USW indicated to the Administration that such a request would not be made.
“In his January State of the Union message, President Obama highlighted the success of the 421 relief he authorized for America’s passenger and light truck tire producers and its workers,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Since his decision, by every measure, 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. That’s why the law was enacted, and it worked.
“In March, the USW notified the Administration that we would not be making an extension request. Under an unacceptable, but existing, provision of international trade law, compensation for a fourth year of relief might have had to be paid to China. We refused to pursue an option that could potentially reward China for their actions.
“We worked closely with the Administration to ensure that the law was effectively enforced including efforts to address circumvention as the 421 relief was nearing its end. Relief under Section 421 worked and our domestic tire sector is stronger because of President Obama’s leadership.”
The USW represents about 850,000 workers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glassmaking to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber to the public sector, service and health care industries.
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