USW Commends Preliminary Findings by Commerce Dept. In Trade Case Against Imports of Vehicle Tires from China

Contact:  Roy Houseman, 202-778-4384, 202-288-3573, rhouseman@usw.org

Pittsburgh – (Nov. 24, 2014) -- Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers (USW), today cited support for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s preliminary determination in the countervailing duty investigation on imports from China of Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck (PVLT) tires.

Gerard said: “The USW is gratified the Commerce Dept. found significant countervailing duty margins on subsidized Chinese tire imports. American tire workers and producers should be especially pleased our government’s investigation also found critical circumstances exist in this case.

“The Commerce Dept. is right to neutralize the negative effects of the unfair subsidies the Chinese government has granted to tire exporters. These illegal subsidies have resulted in thousands of lost American tire manufacturing jobs. If left unchecked, they would devastate tens-of-thousands more jobs in the U.S. economy.”

The USW filed the antidumping and countervailing duty trade case against Chinese PVLT tires in June. According to the agency, 39 different subsidy programs are being investigated. In July, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) preliminarily found a reasonable indication that the domestic tire industry has been injured by Chinese tires. The USDOC has also agreed to initiate work on an additional nine subsidy programs identified by the USW.

“Our union is here to defend more than 28,000 tire workers from unfair trade practices,” Gerard declared. “After the safeguard relief from Chinese tires that our union had fought for expired in 2012, Chinese tires came flooding back into the U.S. Today’s decision confirms an array of massive subsidies from China helped to drive this wave of exports back into our market.

“Countering those subsidies is the first step to restoring a level playing field for our tire industry and our tire workers.”

Stan Johnson, Chair of the USW Tire Industry Conference and International Secretary-Treasurer, confirmed: “The Commerce Dept. found Chinese producers are benefitting from subsidies that range as high as 81.29 percent of their sales revenue – giving them a huge unfair advantage on exports to the U.S.”

He adds: “Our members are united in the fight for their jobs and we will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Commerce to enforce the trade rules and stop these illegal practices.”

Tom Conway, USW International Vice President and Chair of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. bargaining committee, points out:

“After our petitions were filed, the Chinese producers increased the flood of tires into our market to try to escape any additional duties on those tires. As a result of today’s agency determination, which includes a preliminary critical circumstances finding for all but two of the Chinese exporters, we will have the opportunity for any duties that do become final to potentially also apply to those tires that entered over the last three months, if final critical circumstances determinations are made next year.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed among industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, plus the service and public sectors. For more information: usw.org/.

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