WASHINGTON (June 2, 2009)—The International Trade Commission will hear testimony from several members of Congress and representatives of the U.S. and Chinese tire industries related to the United Steelworkers union's petition to limit consumer tires imported from China.
Beginning today, the ITC is expected to hear from at least 10 senators and representatives, USW President Leo Gerard and other union officers, representatives of Chinese tire manufacturers and U.S. tire importers and other industry experts. The commission will determine if, under the guidelines of Section 421 of the U.S. Trade Act, consumer tire imports from China have caused “market disruption” to the U.S. tire industry.
The petition, filed April 20, points to a “flood of imported tires” leading to nearly 7,000 jobs losses and six manufacturing plant closings though this year. The union wants to limit the number of Chinese imports to 21 million annually over a three-year span, down from the nearly 46 million imported in 2008.
At least one group of six U.S. tire importers—the American Coalition for Free Trade in Tires—has formed to challenge the petition.
Following the hearing, the ITC will vote on the market disruption issue June 18, and if the decision is made to move forward, a remedy will be voted on late this month and reported to President Obama in early July.
A decision from the president on a remedy would come in mid-September.