A United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on Dec. 19, 2011, that the U.S. Commerce Department's imposition of countervailing duties on China-made off-the-road (OTR) and agricultural tires in 2008 was illegal under U.S. law.
In the case of GPX International Tire Corp. v. United States, the court held that the U.S. anti-subsidy law -- also known as countervailing duty, or "CVD," law -- cannot apply to Chinese imports while China is a non-market economy.
In October of 2009, the Commerce Department asked its International Trade Administration (ITA) to review the antidumping order. The ITA has yet to rule on the matter.
(Also see "ITA needs more time to assess OTR tire tariffs.")
In response to the Court of Appeals ruling, the United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo Gerard released the following statement, run in its entirety:
"The Court's decision undermines the integrity of our trade laws and the ability to address Chinese unfair and predatory trade practices. The court dropped a lump of coal into the stocking of every worker who is working hard, playing by the rules and just hoping for a fair chance to compete against China's manufacturing and export juggernaut. The sounds of applause coming from Tiananmen Square greeted the court's decision to legalize its cheating.
"China's trade practices, according to the Economic Policy Institute, have cost America 2.8 million jobs since that country joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. The USW has been forced to file numerous trade cases to combat China's unfair trade practices in the fight for our member's jobs. That's a fight we don't plan on giving up. We will work with the administration and call on Congress to either overturn the court's decision, or amend the law. Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake."
Ironically, following the original lawsuit, GPX declared bankruptcy and sold out to Alliance Tire Group (see "GPX blames bankruptcy on antidumping duties").
For more information on the issue, check out these links:
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information on the lawsuit from the union's perspective, search the union's website at www.usw.org.