Sometimes, the United Steelworkers union feels as if it is on an island.
The USW has petitioned the International Trade Commission three times since June 2014 to levy antidumping and countervailing duties against imports of passenger, truck/bus and off-the-road tires from Asia-Pacific countries, notably China.
International Secretary Treasurer Stan Johnson didn't mince his words when discussing the issue—China and other countries in the region are negatively impacting the U.S. economy.
“It's phenomenally frustrating to watch this, not to just watch it in the tire industry,” Johnson said. “I knew a lot of the people in those tire plants. I knew the leadership and a lot of the membership, and it is so frustrating to watch this kind of thing happen. To watch those good jobs that were supporting the community whither away and know that at times it seems nobody (cares) but us.”
Its most recent petitions, made in conjunction with Titan International, still are pending investigation. The ITC voted 6-0 that there was reasonable indication of material injury against the U.S. OTR tire industry because of imports of mounted and unmounted OTR tires from India and Sri Lanka, but it decided not to investigate China in this ruling.
In March, the commission voted 4-2 to continue antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of TBR tires imported from China.
The USW's first petition, made independently in June 2014, resulted in the commission ruling 3-3 that the U.S. tire industry was suffering material injury because of passenger and light truck tire imports from China. A split vote constitutes an affirmative finding.