ERJ staff report (TB)
Bowie, Maryland -- The Tire Industry Assocation (TIA) is calling on the Obama administration to end the â€œpunitiveâ€ import tariffs on certain passenger and light truck tyres from China that were enacted last September or at least provide â€œobjective and accurateâ€ data that the tariffs are delivering their intended purpose.
â€œTIA believesâ€¦(this) administration owes the tyre industry an objective and accurate report that will specifically compare tyre imports from China to tyre imports from other Asian countries on a current-year versus previous-year basis, and to identify exactly which tyre lines are now being manufactured by US tyre makers,â€ TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said.
The Obama administration, acting on a petition from the United Steelworkers (USW) union, raised the import tariffs on certain consumer tyres from China a year ago for a three-year period, to 39 percent from 4 percent for one year, followed by 34 percent and 29 percent for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 periods, respectively.
The USW petitioned the government in April 2009 under provisions of Section 421 of the Trade Act, which allows US industries claiming injury from an upsurge of Chinese imports to seek relief. The USW claimed the Chinese imports were responsible for more than 8,000 tyre industry job losses through year-end 2009
â€œCertain parties with a clear agenda are claiming they have data that demonstrates the success of the tariffs,â€ Mr. Littlefield said without identifying the party or parties. â€œWe know that most of this data is, in reality, anecdotal, and we believe they are also distorting other data by obscuring critical details.â€
A study released last week by by the Alliance for American Manufacturing - a partnership organisation between the USW and a group of manufacturing companies - claims the increased tariffs on Chinese consumer tyres have â€œresulted in the reversal in the massive decline in domestic production.â€
Consumer tyre production in the US since last October has experienced double-digit growth over late 2008/early 2009, according to the AAM's analysis of Rubber Manufacturers Association data.
In calling on President Obama to act, TIA notes that the Trade Act has a provision that allows the President, six months after taking an action, to modify, reduce or terminate the relief that has been granted.
The provision also clearly states that the US International Trade Commission (USITC) â€œ...upon the granting of relief under subsection (k) of this section, shall collect such data as is necessary to allow it to respond rapidly to a request by the Presidentâ€¦.â€
Paul Fiore, director of government and business relations for TIA, added: â€œWe have a compelling case to take to Congress, and we intend to keep the pressure on the USITC until we are comfortable that this data collection process is completed.â€
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)
Press release from the TIA