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TIA wants data about Chinese tariff's impact

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is calling for an end to the year-old Chinese tire tariff. If it can't get that, the group wants the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to collect accurate, objective data about the tariff's impact.

TIA officials say the ITC is obligated under Section 421 of the Trade Act of 1974 to gather and report the data.

"Under the provision, after six months, the president has the option to modify, reduce or terminate the relief that has been granted. The provision also clearly states that the ITC 'upon granting of relief under subsection (k) of this section, shall collect such data as necessary to allow it to respond rapidly to a request by the president.'"

TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield says the association believes "that if the president will not eliminate this punitive tariff, at the very least his administration owes the tire industry an objective and accurate report that will specifically compare tire imports from China to tire imports from other Asian countries on a current-year vs. previous-year basis, and to identify exactly which tire lines are now being manufactured by U.S. tiremakers."

Paul Fiore, TIA's director of government and business relations, says TIA has "a compelling case to take to Congress and we intend to the keep the pressure on the ITC until we are comfortable that this data collection process is completed."

On Sept. 26, 2009, the Obama Administration imposed a 35% tariff on certain consumer tires made in China. That tariff will drop to 30% later this month.

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