The United Steelworkers (USW) union says the preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to levy tariffs on truck and bus tires from China is confirmation that the domestic industry is being harmed by those foreign imports.
The USW filed the initial petition on Jan. 29 that instigated the trade investigation.
In a statement released shortly after the DOC announced its determination on June 29, Leo Gerard, president of USW International, said, "Today's federal determination confirms what our petitions alleged – that Chinese tire producers are receiving a wide array of government subsidies and exporting those subsidized tires to the United States. Our members can compete against any producer in the world, but it is simply unacceptable to ask us to compete against the deep pockets of the Chinese government's state-owned enterprises.
"Unfair truck tire imports from China have denied our domestic industry the opportunity to share in production and job increases in a period of robust demand growth. The United States imported over one billion dollars of truck tires from China last year, and each of those Chinese tires means one tire less made here in the U.S. by USW members."
The chair of the union's national rubber tire bargaining conference, USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson, said, "We have fought back against China's predatory trade practices in nearly every part of the tire industry, including tires for passenger cars, light trucks, off-road vehicles, and now truck and bus tires.
"Again and again they have been shown to benefit from massive subsidies and to engage in widespread dumping in order to gain market share at the expense of American jobs. We will not rest until these unfair trade practices are remedied and our members have the chance to compete on a level playing field. Today's decision is one more step in the right direction."
The DOC has yet to issue its preliminary determination in whether truck and bus tires from China are being dumped in the U.S. That ruling is expected Aug. 26.
The USW represents 6,000 workers at five facilities in the U.S. that account for more than two-thirds of domestic capacity to produce truck and bus tires. The tire production facilities are operated by Bridgestone Americas Inc., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Sumitomo Rubber USA LLC, and they are located in LaVergne and Warren County, Tenn.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; and Topeka, Kan.
For more information about the USW, visit www.usw.org.