PITTSBURGH, July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today after the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its final decision on tariffs for dumped and subsidized tires from China.
"We applaud the ITC for their decision in issuing an affirmative final determination for tariffs on Chinese tires being illegally dumped and subsidized into the U.S. market. The outcome in the USW's pursuit of this case will not only help protect USW members and their families but also helps protect the jobs and futures of the tens of thousands of workers employed within the U.S. tire industry.
"This is the first case under modern dumping and countervailing duty law filed solely by the workers. Increasingly the question of whether our trade laws are actually going to be enforced is being left to the workers, as companies and our government are either conflicted or have different priorities. The positive outcome may have resulted, in part, to recent changes in our trade laws pushed by the USW. These changes are important, but much more needs to be done to get our laws fairly and fully enforced.
"We're sick and tired of China's approach to trade and breaking of the rules. Its entry into the World Trade Organization has done little to stop its cheating. Time after time, we are forced to clean up the mess caused by our negotiators generating insufficient enforcement capabilities.
"The USW brought Section 421 cases on passenger vehicle and light truck tires and convinced the Administration to provide relief. But as soon as the relief expired, the Chinese once again swamped our markets with unfairly-priced tires. Only after significant injury was demonstrated were we able to bring a case, something our government should have already done.
"As pointed out in a recent editorial in the trade publication, Rubber & Plastic, Chinese tires captured 100 percent of growth in demand between 2012 and 2014. This resulted in serious harm to domestic industry and its workers as evidenced by the direct causal relationship between surging imports from China and contraction of production in individual U.S. plants.
"While America's economy has begun a slow recovery, the benefits have not been shared. This is partially due do to the fact that our trade agreements do not adequately open up foreign markets, while doing little to stop unfair trade. While many manufacturers offshore production jobs in search of the lowest labor costs, many others who look to produce domestically find that their country's own trade agreements are not doing enough to support their efforts.
"Trade should not be a one-way street. Until today, that street was dominated by the producers of Chinese-made, unfairly-traded tires. Now, we can begin to reclaim our market for more American-made tires and jobs.
"This decision will make a big difference for our members. With cases pending in the steel and paper sectors, the USW will continue to fight for every job. But, it's time for our government to do its job and stop China from generating overcapacity in sector after sector. In September, when President Obama meets with Chinese President Xi, he should make this the top priority on his agenda."
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: http://www.usw.org/.
Holly Hart: (202) 778-4384
Wayne Ranick: (412) 562-2444
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)