WASHINGTON—The United Steelworkers union is celebrating the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations against certain passenger and light truck tire imports from China.
“The USW is pleased that the Commerce Department has completed a poll of domestic companies involved in the manufacture of passenger vehicle and light truck tires,” USW International President Leo W. Gerard said in a statement issued July 15, the same day the Commerce Department ruled to initiate the investigations.
That poll, according to Gerard, verified the union has official legal standing to bring the antidumping and countervailing duty charges against the Chinese tire importers.
The USW petitioned the International Trade Commission for relief June 3 under Sections 701 and 731 of the Trade Act, covering antidumping and countervailing duties.
In September 2009, the union was successful in obtaining relief under Section 421 of the Trade Act, which offers remedies to U.S. industries injured specifically by massive increases in Chinese imports. President Obama approved total first-year tariffs of 39 percent against Chinese passenger and light truck tire imports; these fell gradually to 34 percent the second year and 29 percent the third, before reverting to the usual level of 4 percent in September 2012.
Once the Section 421 tariffs ended, Chinese tire imports skyrocketed once again, according to the union. From 24.5 million in 2011, Chinese imports more than doubled, to 50.8 million in 2013, it said.
At a hearing before the ITC June 24, the USW also said it had found current dumping margins for Chinese tires as high as 92 percent, as well as more than 40 government subsidies available to Chinese tire makers, 12 of which are directly related to imports.