WASHINGTON (Aug. 21, 2009)—The only remaining North American manufacturer of high-tenacity polyester tire yarn is urging the Obama administration to approve the International Trade Commission's recommended tariffs on Chinese passenger and light truck tires.
Imported tire fiber and fabric from Asia have cost Richmond, Va.-based Performance Fibers some 225 jobs in 2009 alone, according to Richard W. Black, vice president-global marketing and technology for the company. For the U.S. tire fiber industry generally, Asian imports have displaced more than 1,000 domestic jobs since the early part of this decade and shuttered all of Performance Fibers' U.S. competitors, Black said.
“Adopting relief would provide the breathing room the tire producers, its work force, and its U.S. supply base so desperately need to maintain viability,” Black said in his Aug. 20 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
The Office of the USTR is scheduled to recommend to President Obama Sept. 2 on whether he should approve the tariffs against Chinese tires recommended by the ITC. The president has until Sept. 17 to decide.