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Pittsburgh (March 11) – The United Steelworkers (USW) released the following statement after today’s affirmative vote by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the antidumping and countervailing duty petitions against imported Chinese truck and bus tires.
The petitions were filed by the USW at both the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce on Jan. 29, and today’s vote moves the petitions forward to a full review and assessment of injury. The unfairly priced tires threaten the continued existence of thousands of family-supportive American jobs.
“China is stealing our jobs, and we have to stop its unfair trade practices,” said Leo W. Gerard, USW International President. “China’s ongoing attack on our members’ jobs and the U.S. manufacturing base is unacceptable. In a period of strong domestic demand in this sector, the American industry has seen all the new opportunities go offshore, with China causing the most problems.
“Chinese dumping and subsidization totally distort the U.S. tire market and other manufactured products. They fight for their own industry and jobs by targeting the U.S. market. It is our responsibility to fight for our own people.”
China has engaged in repeated unfair trade practices in the tire sector, and we have fought back every time,” said USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson. “This case, which is yet another segment of the tire industry targeted by China, will benefit all workers making truck and bus tires in the United States, whether or not they are members of the USW. These are good-paying, family sustaining jobs that are vital to communities around the country.”
“Voters across the country are making it clear that they are sick and tired of existing trade policies that ship jobs offshore because of unfair trade,” said Gerard. “It’s time for a change. Winning this case will help restore fair competition for these products, but much more is needed as steel, aluminum, paper and many other sectors are being similarly attacked.
The USW represents 6,000 workers at five facilities in the United States that account for more than two-thirds of domestic capacity for truck and bus tires. The tire production facilities are operated by Bridgestone-Firestone in LaVergne and Warren County, Tenn.; Sumitomo in Buffalo, New York; and Goodyear Tire in Danville, Va., and Topeka, Kan.
According to public data included in the petitions, imports from China have grown from 6.3 million truck and bus tires in 2012 to 8.4 million tires in 2014 – an increase of 33 percent. The first 11 months of 2015 saw a further increase of 7 percent. Customs value of imports in 2014 was $1.2 billion. Imports from China accounted for more than 60 percent of the total during 2013-2015.
Shipments from American truck and bus tire producers declined by 7.8 percent, despite overall demand for those tires expanding during the 2012-2015 period. Meanwhile China captured an increasing share of consumption, rising from 29.6 percent in 2012 to 36.4 percent in 2014. China is likely to have increased market share again in 2015 at the expense of domestic producers and workers.
The USW-represented facilities saw shipment reductions in 2015 with further cutbacks implemented already in 2016. The USW petitions review public data indicating massive price underselling of domestic product by Chinese tire imports with underselling margins of 57-62 percent for the 2012-2014 period.
The anti-dumping petition alleges significant dumping margins of 19.78 percent, with certain customs districts having alleged margins as high as 58.2 percent.
The countervailing duty petition alleges that there are 39 Chinese programs providing subsidies. Many of the same programs have been found to be countervailable in other cases on tires or other products from China.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.
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