The United Steelworkers union (USW), which filed the initial petitions that launched the investigation of imported tires from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, is celebrating the news that most of the tariffs it sought on those tires will stand.
“Time and time again USW members lead the fight to protect their jobs and their communities from the devastating effects of unfair trade and ensure a level playing field for domestic producers,” said USW International President Tom Conway in a statement. “This case was no different. I’m proud of all the hard work our members do every day, not just in making high-quality tires but also in safeguarding this vital industry.”
The union didn't address the one part of the case that didn't go its way — passenger and light truck tires from Vietnam won't be subject to anti-dumping duties. The International Trade Commission voted unanimously not to impose anti-dumping tariffs on those tires specifically.
Tires from Vietnam will be subject — and already are paying — countervailing tariffs to offset the subsidies tiremakers and importers are receiving in Vietnam.
“We’re grateful that the ITC affirmed what USW members see every day: a deliberate effort to undercut our domestic industry and overtake our market,” Conway said.
Kevin Johnsen, who chairs the USW’s Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference, said the ITC's decision will help level the playing field for domestic tiremakers.
“We need long-term, sustainable solutions for bad trade,” Johnsen said. “While we are grateful for the work of both the ITC and the Commerce Department, our current system is clearly broken. Before we can get remedies, we must demonstrate harm in the form of lost jobs and reduced market share. By that time, American workers are already suffering. We can and must do better.”
The USW represents workers at nine U.S. tire plants that produce passenger and light truck tires.