Retention of Chinese tyre tariffs a “good outcome”, says US union

Commenting on the U.S. International Trade Commission’s extension of the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain off-the-road tyres produced in China, the United Steelworkers union says the decision to continue with the 2008-introduced tariffs is a “good outcome to provide job security for the hundreds of tyre workers who make these same tyre products at Titan Bridgestone-Firestone and Goodyear factories in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas and New York.”

“We welcome recognition that Chinese tyre producers continue to benefit from unfair subsidies and the continued relief from these subsidised imports is needed to level the playing field for the domestic tyre industry and its workers,” commented USW International president Leo W. Gerard.

The International Trade Commission’s vote on 6 January to retain the tariffs was made under the five-year sunset review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act; this legislation requires the US Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order after five years unless it and the International Trade Commission determine that there is a good chance that revoking the order would result in a continuation or recurrence of product dumping or subsidies. The International Trade Commission determined that revoking the antidumping and countervailing duty orders “would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.”

According to Stewart and Stewart, the United Steelworkers’ Washington trade counsel, the US Department of Commerce also significantly increased the duties charged on one unnamed foreign manufacturer’s products; these will now be charged 35 per cent instead of 14 per cent. The USW says this increase was based on an administrative review that revealed the manufacturer was benefitting from additional subsidy programmes not included in the original investigation.

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