USW Files Petition Against Chinese Truck & Bus Tire Imports

Second Tire Trade Case Seeks Relief to Promote American Jobs

Feb 01, 2016, 10:03 ET from United Steelworkers (USW)

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) announced a new trade case has been filed against China tire imports – this time to seek relief from millions of dumped and subsidized truck and bus tires flooding into the U.S. market that threaten family-supportive American jobs.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard said: "Once again we are taking action to stop the unfair trade practices of China from damaging our members' good jobs and the U.S. manufacturing base.  In a period of strong demand, American industry has seen all the growth in demand go offshore, with China being the biggest problem. 

"The inability for American industry and workers to participate meaningfully in the growth of domestic demand during the last four years is symptomatic of the problems we continue to face.  Chinese dumping and subsidization totally distort the U.S. market in tires and in many other manufactured products. 

"We need prompt action by the Administration to prevent further harm to the domestic tire industry, just as we have been pursuing relief for our members in sectors threatened by illegal imports of steel, paper, aluminum and others."

The USW represents 6,000 workers at five facilities in the U.S. that account for more than two thirds of domestic capacity for truck and bus tires.  The tire production facilities are operated by Bridgestone-Firestone, Goodyear and Sumitomo, located in LaVergne and Warren County, TN; Buffalo, NY; Danville, VA; and Topeka, KS.

According to the petition, imports from China have grown from 6.3 million truck and bus tires in 2012 to 8.4 million tires in 2014 -- an increase of 33 percent. The first 11 months of 2015 saw a further increase of seven percent.  Customs value of imports in 2014 was $1.2 billion.  Imports from China were more than 60 percent of total import quantities during 2013-2015 that will be reviewed by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

American truck and bus tire producer shipments declined by 7.8 percent, despite an overall demand for those tires expanding during the 2012-2015 period, while China has captured an increased share of apparent consumption from 29.6 percent that rose to 36.4 percent 2012-2014. China is likely to have increased market share again in 2015 at the expense of domestic producers and workers.

The USW-represented facilities saw shipment reductions in 2015 with further cutbacks implemented in 2016. The USW petition reviews public data indicating massive price underselling of domestic product by Chinese tire imports with underselling margins of 57-62 percent for the 2012-2014 period.

The anti-dumping petition alleges significant dumping margins of 19.78 percent, with certain customs districts having alleged margins as high as 58.2 percent.

The countervailing duty petition alleges 39 programs provide subsidies.  Many of the same programs have been found to be countervailable in other cases on tires or other products from China. 

The USW filed the anti-dumping and countervailing duty petitions Jan. 29 on imports of truck and bus tires with the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the ITC. A copy of the USW petition can be viewed HERE.

A preliminary injury determination for the truck and bus tires trade case has been scheduled by the ITC on Mar. 11.

A separate trade case against passenger vehicle and light truck tire imports from China was filed by the USW in 2014 and is now covered by duty orders on imports.

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:

CONTACTS:  Gary Hubbard: (202) 256-8125; 
Wayne Ranick: (412) 562-2444;

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SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)