WASHINGTON—Eleven U.S. senators from seven states with tire factories have voiced their support for an investigation into "unfairly traded" tire imports from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In a letter to Jason Kearns, chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission—which will oversee the investigation—the senators said they "urge you to give full and fair consideration to the USW petitions in these cases and to ensure U.S. trade remedy laws are fully enforced."
The U.S. Department of Commerce voted June 23 to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, a move praised by the USW. The investigation seeks to determine whether passenger vehicle and light truck tires imported from the South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are being dumped in the U.S.
"We write on behalf of U.S. passenger vehicle and lightweight tire manufacturers and their workers who face ongoing challenges from unfairly traded tire imports … and to reiterate our support for strong enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws," the senators —six Democrats and five Republican—wrote.
The law makers noted the U.S. tire industry "has been marked by unfair trade from foreign competitors for years" and cited the imposition of elevated import duties on Chinese consumer tires in 2009 and 2014 as examples of previous U.S. efforts on behalf of the domestic industry.
"Unfortunately, other foreign competitors are employing unfair practices to gain market share in the U.S. while Chinese tire imports face additional duties," the senators wrote.
Those signing the letter are:
- Sherrod Brown, D, and Rob Portman, R, Ohio
- Richard Burr, R, North Carolina,
- Kirsten Gillibrand, D, and Charles Schumer, D, New York
- Tim Kaine, D, and Mark Warner, D, Virginia
- Mike Braun, R, and Todd Young, R, Indiana
- Doug Jones, D, Alabama
- John Boozman, R, Arkansas