WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 21, 2009)—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is supporting the United Steelworkers union's petition seeking limits on imports of consumer tires from China.
“China's share of consumer tire imports has nearly tripled over the past five years. Thousands of workers have lost jobs, and we should expect more job loss unless we use the trade enforcement tools we have in our toolkit,” Sen. Brown said in a statement released by the USW.
Sen. Brown emphasized in his statement that using tools like Section 421 of U.S. trade laws measure is not protectionism.
“Enforcement of trade remedy laws consistent with (World Trade Organization) rules is not protectionism,” he said. “One of the steps in rebuilding a trade strategy is to rebalance our trading relationship with China.”
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., also urged “effective enforcement of our trade laws,” but stopped short of endorsing the USW's petition.
“I will be following the Section 421 safeguard case on consumer tires with great interest,” he said.
Of six petitions filed under Section 421, Sen. Specter said none has been granted despite affirmative determinations by the International Trade Commission in four of those cases.
China agreed to be subject to the 421 safeguard measure as a condition of acceding to the World Trade Organization.
Under Sec. 421 of the Trade Act of 1974, relief may be granted if a surge of Chinese imports causes or threatens to cause market disruption to domestic producers. The ITC conducts a hearing, proposes relief where appropriate, and a final determination is made by the president.