The following statement was released by the United Steelworkers (USW) in conjunction with the June 3 filing of an antidumping and countervailing duty case against passenger and light truck tires from China. The case alleges massive dumping and substantial subsidization of sales of these products by China into the U.S. market. Here is the release in its entirety.
“Unfairly priced imports of tires from China have resumed flooding the U.S. market,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Domestic tire producers have been rapidly losing market share over the last two years. Domestic shipments have been undercut by skyrocketing import growth from China, and while our economy recovers, domestic producers and their workers have not adequately shared in the benefits.
“Dumping margins identified in the case are as high as 92%. Simply put, China is stealing American jobs and the Steelworkers intend to fight for every one of those jobs.”
The USW said that China has once again targeted the U.S. passenger and light truck market. In 2009, the USW filed a safeguard action against Chinese passenger and light truck tires, the first and only such successful action in history.
“In the four years prior to that case -2004 to 2008- imports from China had skyrocketed from 14.6 to 46 million tires, causing significant harm to the U.S. tire industry, multiple plant closures and unacceptable job losses,” said USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson, a former tire worker. “President Obama supported our effort and during the period that relief was in place, Chinese tire imports declined to roughly half of the pre-surge level.
“But, China is at it again. After the relief provided by the president expired in 2012, China again targeted the U.S. market. Imports have more than doubled to 50.8 million tires last year, and in the first quarter of 2014 alone, imported tires from China surged an additional 24.6 percent. This is a valuable market that China wants to exploit, and action to address this problem is vital.”
“Our fight for jobs in the sector is far from over,” said USW International Vice President Tom Conway. “China is expanding its industry and has targeted the U.S. market as the place to dump product and subsidize sales. As China expands production and increases employment in this sector, it is our workers who pay the price with job losses.
“We’re proud that the Obama administration stood by Americans who work hard, play by the rules and want to be able to compete on a level playing field. The facts in this case are strong, and we expect to win again with China having to abide by its WTO commitments and fair trade rules.”
“Filing trade cases is not something we take lightly,” said Gerard. “We would prefer that countries live by the rules. But when our members are injured, the Steelworkers act. We cannot stand idly by while China steals our jobs. Enforcing the rules is a fundamental prerequisite of the trading system, and China’s cheating is seriously undermining it.
“American workers are sick and tired of trade deals that countries like China violate before the ink is even dry.”
For a Fact Sheet on the case from the USW, click here.