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USW launches second Chinese tire import petition

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USW claims cheap Chinese imports are harming the U.S. tire industry.

USW launches second petition against cheap China tire imports

The United Steelworkers (USW) has filed its second trade case against Chinese tire imports in under a month.

On January 29 the USW filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions on imports of Chinese truck and bus tires with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

On January 8 USW and Titan International filed similar petitions against cheap off-the-road (OTR) tire imports from China, India and Sri Lanka, claiming they were harming the domestic OTR tire-producing industry and affecting jobs.

What USW is saying about Chinese imports

USW International President Leo W. Gerard said, “Once again we are taking action to stop the unfair trade practices of China from damaging our members’ good jobs and the U.S. manufacturing base.

“In a period of strong demand, American industry has seen all the growth in demand go offshore, with China being the biggest problem.

“The inability for American industry and workers to participate meaningfully in the growth of domestic demand during the last four years is symptomatic of the problems we continue to face. Chinese dumping and subsidization totally distort the U.S. market in tires and in many other manufactured products.”

What does USW claim is the problem?

According to the most recent USW petition, 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 USW says American truck and bus tire producer shipments declined by 7.8 percent despite an overall demand for those tires expanding during the 2012-2015 period, while China captured an increased share of apparent consumption of 6.8 percent from 2012-14.

In 2014 the USW won a separate trade case against passenger vehicle and light truck tire imports from China, with those imports now covered by duty orders.

The USW – which represents 6,000 workers at five facilities in the U.S. that account for more than two thirds of domestic capacity for truck and bus tires – has also voiced its opposition to the recent signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand. Gerard called the proposed agreement “seriously flawed,” saying it should be rejected as it would “further undermine American jobs and manufacturing.”

What happens now?

A preliminary injury determination for the truck and bus tires trade case has been scheduled for March 11 by the ITC. The ITC has already held a conference on the Chinese OTR tires trade case, with preliminary determinations likely by summer and final determinations in early 2017.

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