WASHINGTON (Sept. 25, 2012)—With the imminent expiration of the Obama administration's tariffs against Chinese passenger and light truck tires, the United Steelworkers union has affirmed it will not seek the extension of the tariffs.
Under Section 421 of the Trade Act, the USW had the right to request an extension of the tariffs, according to a statement from USW headquarters in Pittsburgh.
“In March, in advance of the six-month renewal request deadline, the USW indicated to the administration that such a request would not be made,” the union said.
The USW petitioned the International Trade Commission in April 2009, requesting relief against an upsurge of Chinese tire imports under Section 421. The ITC found evidence of material injury against U.S. tire makers and workers, and on Sept. 26, 2009, President Obama granted relief in the form of three years' worth of tariffs.
Those tariffs totaled 39 percent the first year, 34 percent the second and 29 percent the third. On Sept. 26 of this year, the tariffs will revert to their traditional level of 4 percent.
“In his January State of the Union message, President Obama highlighted the success of the 421 relief he authorized for America's passenger and light truck tire producers and its workers,” said Leo W. Gerard, USW International president.
“Since his decision, by every measure, success has been achieved,” Gerard said. Jobs have been retained and created, production has rebounded, investments in plant and equipment have been made and many companies have returned to profitability. That's why the law was enacted, and it worked.”
Under international trade law, a fourth year of tariffs might have meant that the U.S. would have had to pay compensation to China, according to Gerard. “We refused to pursue an option that could potentially reward China for their actions,” he said.