WASHINGTON (June 18, 2009) — The board of the International Trade Commission has voted 4-2 in favor of quotas on Chinese-made tires, finding that there is evidence of market disruption caused by imports of Chinese passenger and light truck tires into the U.S.
There was no discussion—only a straight up and down vote.
The ITC's vote was an affirmation of the petition filed April 20 by the United Steelworkers union calling for a quota on the tires, based on Section 421 of the U.S. Trade Act, Section 421, which Congress added to the Trade Act in 2000. It allows U.S. industries and workers to obtain product-specific import relief in the case of sharp increases in Chinese imports while China makes its transition from a centrally controlled economy to a market economy.
The commission has scheduled a hearing for June 29 to explore a remedy, and then must submit its reports to President Obama and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on July 9.
The USW is seeking a three-year quota on Chinese passenger and light truck tire imports, restricting them to 21 million the first year—about the level of 2005 shipments from China—and allowing them to grow up to 5 percent annually each of the following two years.