WASHINGTON—The mayors of Clarksville and Montgomery County, Tenn., have written the International Trade Commission to urge the body to "take care to avoid harming U.S. manufacturers like Hankook Tennessee" in addressing import injury.
Joe Pitts, mayor of Clarksville, and Jim Durrett, mayor of Montgomery County, co-signed the letter, dated May 27. Hankook Tire America Inc.'s factory is in Clarksville, which is in Montgomery County.
"We understand that workers at other U.S. tire plants have brought this case to the Commission, complaining of unfairly traded imports that threaten the ability of other U.S. tire companies to compete in the market," Pitts and Durrett said about the antidumping case regarding passenger and light truck tires from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
They prefaced their plea to the ITC commissioners by stressing that they support fair trade and the Commission's efforts to address import injury, but noted that the "imposition of duties would significantly impact Hankook and potentially put future investment and jobs in Tennessee at risk."
Pitts and Durrett join U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., in urging the ITC to consider the case of a company like Hankook, whose workers are non-union.
The United Steelworkers union is the petitioner in the case. They maintain imports from the subject nations are harming tire producers in the U.S. and potentially putting jobs in jeopardy.
Hankook opened the plant in Clarksville in 2017 and earlier this year disclosed plans to invest $85 million in 2021 as part of a Phase II expansion of the plant.
The mayors also noted that Hankook Tire Manufacturing Tennessee L.P. provides "good high-paying" jobs to approximately 1,000 residents of Clarksville and Montgomery County.